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The -ing Participle and the Gerund: pecularities and context differences

Author(s): Nicoleta MINCĂ

Journal: Studii de Gramatica Contrastiva
ISSN 1584-143X

Issue: 14;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: participle | gerund | context differences

The present participle and the gerund are two grammatical homonymous form and the difference between them can be established only in a context, with the help of specific determinatives. The –ing form is a polyvalent form, being convertible into various parts of speech and it is also a polyfunctional form which can accomplish, in different contexts, diverse grammatical functions. While the characteristic feature of the present participle is its verbal function, the gerund has a double function, nominal and verbal. In most cases this double function is brought out by the presence in a context of noun determinatives and prepositions as well as of verbal determinatives and modifiers. Some difficulties of making a distinction between present participle and gerund are caused by the fact that, though the –ing verbal forms fall into one or two clearly marked categories, their identity has favoured the development of certain uses that don’t fit into either.
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