Gerund or Participle Exercise (330)

Decide if the -ing word in boldface is a gerund (a verbal used as a noun) or a participle (a verbal used as an adjective (modifier).

  • Even poor readers enjoy hearing a good story.

  • Leaning against a mast, Long John Silver smiled enigmatically at Jim and the Squire.

  • Adults who have not read Treasure Island will do themselves a favor by trying it; it’s a wonderful book.

  • He had found a longish fir-tree lying felled and trimmed in the enclosure. 

  • John had cut through a bulkhead unobserved and had removed one of the sacks of coin, worth perhaps three or four hundred guineas, to help him on his further wanderings.

Answers and Explanations

1. Even poor readers enjoy hearing a good story.

Correct: gerund
Hearing is the object of the verb enjoy.

2. Leaning against a mast, Long John Silver smiled enigmatically at Jim and the Squire.

Correct: participle
Leaning modifies Long John Silver.

3. Adults who have not read Treasure Island will do themselves a favor by trying it; it’s a wonderful book.

Correct: gerund
Trying is the object of the preposition by.

4. He had found a longish fir-tree lying felled and trimmed in the enclosure. 

Correct: participle
Lying modifies fir-tree.

5. John had cut through a bulkhead unobserved and had removed one of the sacks of coin, worth perhaps three or four hundred guineas, to help him on his further wanderings.

Correct: gerund
Wanderings is the object of the preposition on.

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