Here are the corrections and explanations for this week’s entries.
A “verbal” is a word that has the value of a verb and some other part of speech such as a noun or adjective.
A “gerund” is a word that has the values of a verb and a noun. It is also called a “verbal noun”.
“Swimming” is good exercise.”
“Swimming” is a gerund because it, as a verb, performs the action of a verb and, as a noun it is subject of the sentence.
“Parse” is a verb meaning to analyze a sentence’s component parts and describe their syntactic roles.
A “participle” is a word that has the values of a verb and an adjective.
“The man waving his hand is the referee.”
“Waving” is a participle: as a verb, it shows action and takes the object “hand”; as an adjective it modifies the noun “man”.
An “infinitive” is the simple form of a verb such as “to be” of “to fight” that has the values of a verb and a noun.
“To act on the stage is her ambition.”
“To act” is an infinitive: as a verb, it shows action and is modified by the adverb phrase “on the stage”; as a noun, it is the subject of the verb “is”.
The following sentences all contain at least one verbal. Identify and explain the complete function of each verbal.
1. We saw children gathering flowers.
“Gathering” is a participle: as a verb it shows action and takes the object “flowers”; as an adjective, it modifies the noun “children”.
2. She is skilful in making flower designs.
“Making” is a gerund; as a verb, it expresses action and takes the object “designs”; as a noun, it is object of the preposition “in”.
3. We managed to get there on time.
“To get” is an infinitive: as a verb, it expresses action and is modified by the adverb “there”; as a noun, it is object of the verb “managed”.
4. Making watches requires skilled workers.
“Making” is a gerund; as a verb, it expresses action and takes the object “watches”; as a noun, it is subject of the verb “requires”.
5. To know him is to admire him.
“To know” is an infinitive; as a verb, it expresses action and takes the indirect object “him”; as a noun, it is subject of the verb “is”.
6. A fire started by campers did much damage.
“Started” is a (past) participle; as a verb, it expresses action and is modified by the adverb phrase “by campers”; as an adjective, it modifies the noun “fire”.
A LOST IDEAL
“A good reputation is more valuable than money.”
Publilius Syrus, a Roman writer who lived around 100 BC, wrote this.
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Gallant” (n.) refers to a man who is concerned with his dress, a dandy, a fop or an escort for women. Pronunciation puts the stress on the second syllable.
“The gallant paid tremendous attention to being the best-dressed man in the office on a daily basis.
“Gallant” (adj.) means dashing and heroic, dignified, noble, knightly or chivalrous. Pronunciation puts the stress on the first syllable.
“His gallant defence of his fiancé against all odds resulted in an admiration among his peers that they did their best to imitate.”
“Mercurial” (adj.) means under the influence of the planet Mercury, eloquent, shrewd, swift, thievish, erratic or unpredictable.
“Mercury” was the Roman messenger of the gods and god of commerce, dexterity and eloquence.
The personality traits also come from mercury and how it can quickly move around.”
“Her mercurial presence, beauty and attitude made her fascinating and enigmatic to the men who watched her at the ball.”
“Diffidence” (n.) refers to a lack of self-confidence, reserve, modesty, reticence, self-doubt or hesitancy.
“I say this with much diffidence but I feel I have conquered the demon of shyness by joining the choir.”
“Innocuous” (adj.) means insipid, harmless, inoffensive or innocent.
“Her remarks and criticisms were flowery and innocuous and did little to fairly judge the merits of the play.”