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A gerund phrase is made up of a gerund and all the words that can modify it. The words or phrases that can modify a gerund are an adjective, adverb, and a prepositional phrase, plus it can have a direct object.

Why can it have these modifiers? 
Remember that a gerund is a verb form ending in -ing. Because it is a VERB, it can have an adverb modifying it. Also, it can have an adverb prepositional phrase modifying it. Besides all that, it can have a direct object, just like any action verb can have.  Why an adjective or adjective prepositional phrase modifying it? Remember that a gerund is a verb form used as a NOUN, therefore it can have an adjective or adjective prepositional phrase modifying it.

Wearing tight shoes hurts. (gerund + D.O.)  Long-distance running is fun. (adjective +

gerund)  I like dancing on ice. (gerund + prepositional phrase)  Performing alone is his dream. (gerund + adverb)

Gerund phrases, like gerunds alone, function as nouns in a sentence. Like a noun, a gerund phrase can be a subject, a D.O., an object of the preposition, or a predicate noun.

Subject Direct Object Object of Preposition Predicate Noun

Preparing for a concert takes time. Suryani began practicing his flute. Before playing the music, he studied it. His big challenge was walking on stage.

Be careful not to confuse a gerund phrase with a participial phrase. If the phrase functions as a subject, an object, or a predicate noun in the sentence it is a gerund phrase. If it serves as an adjective, it is a participial phrase.

Gerund Phrase: Participial Phrase: Gerund Phrase Participial Phrase:

Singing softly was difficult. (subject) Singing softly, he calmed the baby. We began singing the song. (direct object) The girl singing the song is Widuri.

Identify each gerund phrase. Does each gerund phrase act as a subject, a direct object, an object of a preposition, or a predicate noun?

1. 2. 3.

Bart received the prize for being the best tenor. You should try singing high C. Appearing with a professional cast was Sinta s dream.

4. 5.

Facing the audience can be the hardest part. Practicing day and night is a necessary ingredient for succeeding as an opera singer.

6. The programs goal is providing students with a

variety of artistic opportunities.
7. The problem is obtaining the necessary money. 8. People find different ways of raising funds. 9. Asking for funds is an important activity. 10. Supporters must continue advertising the


Possessives in Gerund Phrases 
Always use the possessive form of a noun or

pronoun before a gerund.

Which is correct?
1. I warned Gino about (them, their) being late. 2. (Fran, Fran s) leaving will solve the problem. 3. (Me, My) being there was a help. 4. (Him, His) continuing with the show is essential to

its success.
5. (Us, Our) agreeing on how the other minor roles

should be handled was also important.

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