Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blogging from A to Z - today's words are gerund and Ginger

Gerund? What's a gerund? Who cares?

A gerund is a word formed by adding -ing to a verb, which means it looks exactly like a present participle. It's only the context that distinguishes them.

Riding is harder work than many people think. (the single word riding is a subject)

Before foaling, many mares prefer privacy. (in this case, the gerund is the object of a preposition)

Gerund phrases can also be subjects.

Training a horse takes lots of patience. (training a horse is a gerund phrase)

A gerund can even be a last name! Okay, this is not helpful, but the only reason I ever looked up gerunds before I started writing was when the actress Joanna Going (remember the 90's version of Dark Shadows?) mentioned she had the only last name that was also a gerund. There's your trivia for the day!

Now to the 'who cares' part. Do you need to know what a gerund is to write, even effectively? Probably not. But some people will argue that overuse of gerunds will weaken your writing. If you recognize them, sometimes you can reword.

Mares prefer to foal in private.
Horse training requires patience.

Better? You decide.

Here is a picture of Ginger, a strawberry roan quarter horse. I never owned her, but she was boarded at my barn and her owner had her bred to our arab stallion HAAP Ibn Farrago (come back tomorrow to see his gorgeous pictures). Ginger's foal was stunning, a filly named Daught's Desert Rose - isn't she a cutie? Ginger is in her late 20's now and still a horse that requires much energy to ride!


  1. I am loving the horse pictures. They are very beautiful. Nice tip on the gerunds too.
    Thanks, Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

  2. Oh wow.... Ginger is absolutely beautiful! And for some reason, I can -never- remember what a gerund is. It's just one of those weird words that doesn't give my brain any indication as to its meaning. :P

    Great post!

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

    1. Haha,that's why I threw in the Joanna Going part. If you can remember her name, you're halfway there! I suffer from the same thing and honestly don't think it matters as long as you recognize the strength of various word patterns.

  3. gerund is a new term that i had never heard of until last year. I probably overuse them in my writing. i have a grammar nazi (which i love) that points it out when she reads my work.

  4. What a beautiful foal! I'm quite particular to splotchy horses. ;) Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie