The gerund should not be confused with the verbal noun, which has the same suffix -ing. The main points of difference between the gerund and the verbal noun are as follows:
| 1. Like all the verbals the gerund has a double character — nominal and verbal.
|| The verbal noun has only a nominal character.
| 2. The gerund is not used with an article.
|| The verbal noun may be used with an article.
The making of a new humanity cannot be the privilege of a handful of bureaucrats. (Fox)I want you to give my hair a good brushing. (Hardy)
| 3. The gerund has no plural form.
|| The verbal noun may be used in the plural.
Our likings are regulated by our circumstances. (Ch. Bronte)
| 4. The gerund of a transitive verb takes a direct object.
He received more and more letters, so many that he had given up reading them. (Priestley)
|| The verbal noun cannot take a direct object; it takes a prepositional object with the preposition of.
Meanwhile Gwendolen was rallying her nerves to the reading of the paper. (Eliot)
| The gerund may be modified by ! an adverb.
Drinking, even temperately, was
a sin. (Dreiser)
I warned him against driving fast.
|| The verbal noun may be modified by an adjective.
He (Tom) took a goodscolding
about clodding Sid. (Twain) I warned him against fastdriving.
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