In this article, we will attempt to answer the following question: is noun phrase a gerund?
Noun phrases consist of nouns that are accompanied by modifiers. Meanwhile, gerunds are verbs that behave like nouns.
Is noun phrases and gerund same?
No, noun phrases and gerunds are NOT the same thing. Although gerunds can behave like nouns—they are, in fact, verbs.
Keep reading to get a deeper understanding of the differences between noun phrases and gerunds.
What are noun phrases?
A noun phrase refers to any noun that is accompanied by a modifier. In this case, modifiers refer to those words that either restrict or give additional meaning to a noun.
Here are some examples of the type of modifier that could be used to turn a noun into a noun phrase:
- Adjectives: smart, twisted, dirty…
- Numbers: one, two, one hundred…
- Determiners: that, those, a, each…
- Quantifiers: some, a lot of, a little, many…
- Prepositional phrases: with a pink stethoscope, across the road, on the table…
- Relative clauses: which, who, that, where, when, whose
Now, let’s look at some examples of noun phrases:
Read more about Slash Examples
Example 1: Those flowers look very lovely.
In this example, “those” is a premodifier (that is, a modifier that comes before a noun) of the head noun “flowers.” The modifier is a determiner that informs us which flowers are being referred to. Thus, “those flowers” is a noun phrase.
Example 2: I love going ice skating on frozen lakes.
In this example, “frozen” is a premodifier (in the form of an adjective) of the head noun “lakes.” Thus, “frozen lakes” is a noun phrase.
Read more about Derivational Suffix
Example 3: Talk to the doctor with a pink stethoscope.
In this case “the doctor with a pink stethoscope” is a noun phrase because the head noun (doctor) is accompanied by a postmodifier (that is, a modifier that comes after a noun). In this case, the postmodifier is a prepositional phrase.
Read more about Oxymoron vs Juxtaposition
Example 4: There is a little soda left in the fridge.
In this example, “a little soda” is a noun phrase—where “a little” is the quantifying modifier and “soda” is the head noun.
Example 5: There are five magnets on the fridge.
Here, “five magnets” is a noun phrase, where “five” is the modifier (it’s a number) and “magnets” is the head noun.
Example 6: The person who ruined our presentation.
In this case, the entire sentence is a noun phrase, with “who ruined our presentation” being a relative clause that modifies the head noun “person.”
What is a gerund?
Gerunds refer to verbs that don’t behave the way that verbs usually do. Instead of describing actions, they behave like nouns.
Keep in mind that gerunds are always verbs in their present participle form. That is, they are verbs that end with the suffix “-ing” (such as: walking, drawing, eating…).
That said, not all verbs in their present participle form are gerunds.
For instance, in the sentence “Shreya is walking to the supermarket”—the word “walking” is a verb that describes Shreya’s actions. However, in the sentence “Shreya finds walking to be a painful activity”—the word “walking” is described as a concept or a thing. Thus, in the second sentence “walking” is a gerund.
Now, let’s look at a few more examples of gerunds to get a better understanding of them:
Example 1: Apologising is not a fool proof way of getting out of trouble.
Example 2: The best way to travel from Goregaon East to South Bombay is by taking the metro.
Example 3: I enjoy singing to myself.
Example 4: Travelling is a lot more fun when you do it with people you like.
Example 5: For me, eating is a rather boring activity.
In all the above examples, the underlined verbs behave more like nouns than verbs. Hence, they are all gerunds.
Is a noun a gerund?
Back to our original question: is noun phrase a gerund? By now, you should know that the answer to that question is NO.
In conclusion, gerunds are verbs that can behave and function in the same way that nouns do. While one can say that gerunds and gerund phrases are a mixture of verbs and nouns—they are still NOT considered to be either nouns or noun phrases.