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Chapter 1. Mechanics of Writing > Gerunds and Participles

Gerunds and Participles

When you use a gerund or a participle, ensure that the phrase or sentence in which the gerund or the participle is used is unambiguous. A participle is based on a verb, ends with “-ing” or “-ed,” and functions as an adjective. A gerund is also based on a verb and ends with “-ing,” but a gerund is used as a noun.

Confusion can arise when a gerund is followed immediately by a noun because the gerund could be misinterpreted as a modifier. For example, the sentence “Moving companies can be a growth opportunity in an economic decline” is ambiguous because you can interpret “moving” in either of the following ways:


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