Hi, hello, everyone, how was this year’s first Monday?
As I did not go anywhere and did not do anything, to me it felt like a regular working day.
On this article, we are going to discuss one question that came in through our DM. Remember that you can ask us anything by mentioning us or sending us DM, and we will try our best to answer it. However, if the answer is easily found on Google (e.g., the meaning of certain words), we would suggest you to look it up first.
The question that we received is:
“Is there any other use of suffix -ing aside of progressive tenses?”
The answer is yes. Suffix -ing has several uses apart from modifying a verb in a progressive tense.
Suffix -ing is used to form a gerund, which is a verb that functions as a noun.
“I like drinking a glass of milk before bedtime.”
‘Drinking’ here is a gerund, whilst the verb is ‘like.’
Oftentimes, suffix -ing is used to modify a verb to form a verbal noun.
“She lives in a nice apartment building.”
‘Building’ is a verbal noun.
What is the difference between gerund and noun, then, when they are both made of verbs that have suffix -ing?
Here is a tip to differentiate them. A gerund retains its verb-like properties, i.e., there is still work being done by the gerund. It could have an object, too.
Let’s take a look again at the gerund section that I tweeted above.
“I like drinking a glass of milk…”
Even though ‘drinking’ has become a noun, there is still an action attached to it. Its object is ‘a glass of milk.’
Meanwhile, on the second example, there is the noun ‘a nice apartment building.’ There is no action involved with the word ‘building’ in the sentence, which makes it a verbal noun.
Suffix -ing can also be used to form an adjective.
“The exam is exhausting.”
The original verb is ‘to exhaust’. With suffix -ing, it became the adjective ‘exhausting.’