Chapter 5-5: Verbals

Grammar > Using Verbs > Verbals


Verbals are words stemming from a verb but acting as a different part of speech. There are three types of verbals: the participle, the gerund, and infinitives.


A verbal is a noun or adjective formed from a verb. Writers sometimes make mistakes by using a verbal in place of a verb, and in very formal writing, by confusing different types of verbals. This section covers three different verbals: the participle (which acts as an adjective), the gerund (which acts as a noun), and the infinitive (which also acts as a noun).

The fundamental difference between verbals and other nouns and adjectives is that verbals can take their own objects, even though they are no longer verbs:


Building a house is complicated.

In this example, the noun phrase "a house" is the direct object of the verbal "building", even though "building" is a noun rather than a verb.


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