In modern grammar, why are gerunds and participles grouped?

As I have delved deeper into the world of modern grammar, I have noticed frequent references to ‘gerund-participial’ clauses. Most resources would divide gerunds and participles (past and present) into their own categories, stating that they have different functions. Notably, a gerund can act as a subject or object, whereas a participle cannot. However, I … Read more

Possessive-gerund/ sentence structure

Here’s an alternative/clearer version of my original question: Consider the following sentence: Instead of his being stationed on a plank, I want him on a pedestal. This shows the possessive gerund. However, the “I want him…” being juxtaposed with “his being…” seems awkward (as was pointed out in the ensuing comment section). It is the … Read more

What is the grammatical construction behind the word “climbing” in the phrase “climbing wall” or the word “running” in the phrase “running” shoes?

I am curious about the grammar behind the word “climbing” in the phrase “climbing wall” (or the word “running” in the phrase “running shoes,” etc). I first thought it was an adjective describing the noun wall. However, I am wondering if these cases are the closest the English language gets to a gerundive? Both “climbing” … Read more

In “Nobody was surprised at John being absent”, is “being” a present participle modifying “John” or a gerund whose subject is “John”?

Some time ago I learned the difference between a present participle and a gerund, so today I decided to pass any online test to make sure I understand it. I passed it having made only one mistake, which asked the difference between the two in this sentence: Nobody was surprised at John being absent. One … Read more

In “experience teaching”, is “experience” a noun adjunct?

In an MIT textbook from 2007 the author, Robert G. Gallager, writes in the preface: My original purpose was to write an undergraduate text on digital communication, but experience teaching this material over a number of years convinced me that I could not write an honest exposition of principles, including both what is possible and … Read more