Present Participle Exercise (184)

Decide if the -ing word in each of the following sentences is being used as a verb, an adjective, or a gerund. For example:

The cook was whipping the cream by hand. (verb, used with "was" to form continuous past)

Blushing deeply, Charlie stuttered his request. (adjective, describing "Charlie")

As a boy, he loved collecting stamps. (gerund, object of the verb "loved)

  • When we dropped in on Mother, she was watching The Price is Right.

  • How do you feel about sharing an apartment?

  • Running as fast as he could, the boy followed the departing car.

  • His wife hates his smoking in the house.

  • Moving house can be as traumatic as a divorce.

Answers and Explanations

1. When we dropped in on Mother, she was watching The Price is Right.

Correct: verb
With the auxiliary was, watching forms the past continuous tense.

2. How do you feel about sharing an apartment?

Correct: gerund
Sharing is a gerund, functioning as the object of the preposition about. Like a verb, it has an object, "an apartment."

3. Running as fast as he could, the boy followed the departing car.

Correct: adjective
Running functions as an adjective, describing boy. Like a verb, it is modified by an adverbial element, "as fast as he could."

4. His wife hates his smoking in the house.

Correct: gerund
Smoking is a gerund functioning as the object of hates. It is modified by the adverb phrase "in the house."

5. Moving house can be as traumatic as a divorce.

Correct: gerund
Moving is a gerund functioning as the subject of the verb can be. It takes the object "house."

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