Verbals and Verbal Phrases Chapter 5 What is a Verbal? A verbal is a word formed from a verb but is used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. There are three kinds of verbals 1) the participle 2) the gerund 3) the infinitive The Participle 1) A participle is a verb form that can be used as an adjective. 1) Present participles end in –ing Ex) The smiling child waved. Ex) The horses trotting past was not frightened. 2) Most part participles end in –d or –ed. Some past participles are irregularly formed. Ex) The police searched the abandoned building. Ex) The plate, bought at a flea market, is lovely. Be careful! Don’t confuse a participle with a verb! VERB: Carmen was shouting loudly to the pedestrian. PARTICIPLE: Shouting loudly, Carmen warned the pedestrian to look out for the car. PRACTICE: Find the Participle! • The papers, aged and yellowed, were in the bottom drawer. • For centuries the ruins remained there, waiting for discovery. • Carefully decorated, the piñata glittered in the sunlight. • Cheering and clapping, the spectators greeted their team. The Participial Phrase A participial phrase consists of a participle and modifiers or complements that participle has. The entire thing is used as an adjective. Examples • Seeing itself in the mirror, the duck seemed quite bewildered. • After a while, we heard the duck quacking noisily at its own image. PRACTICE: Find the Participial Phrase! • Noted for her beauty, Venus was sought by many gods as a wife. • Bathed in radiant light, Venus brought love and joy wherever she went. • Jupiter, knowing her charms, nevertheless married her to Vulcan, the ugliest of the gods. • Mars, known to the Greeks as Ares, was the god of war. The Gerund 2) A gerund is a verb form ending in –ing that is used as a noun. Examples • Dad’s favorite pastime is fishing for trout. • Give sailing a try. • We enjoyed hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. • Please sweep the front sidewalk after mowing. Tips for finding gerunds! • Because gerunds act as nouns, they are needed in the sentence (You can’t take them out and expect the sentence to still make sense) • Gerunds can typically be replaced with the question: WHAT? PRACTICE: Find the Gerund! • • • • • My sister has always enjoyed riding horseback. Why won’t that dog stop barking? Studying usually pays off in higher scores. Melinda decided on walking. In the past, working took up most people’s time six days a week. The Gerund Phrase A gerund phrase consists of a gerund and any modifiers or complements the gerund has. The entire phrase is used as a noun. Examples • Having a part-time job may interfere with your schoolwork. • The townspeople heard the loud clanging of the fire bell. PRACTICE: Find the Gerund Phrase! • Angelo’s pleading rarely influenced his mother’s decisions. • The eerie sound they heard was the howling of the wolves. • We sat back and enjoyed the slow rocking of the boat. • The blue jay’s screeching at the cat woke us up at dawn. The Infinitive 3) An infinitive is a verb that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Most infinitives begin with to. Examples • To install the ceiling fan took two hours. • The best time to visit Florida is December through April. • The camel knelt at the pool to drink. PRACTICE: Find the infinitive! • After school, June and I like to walk home together. • Usually we go to my house or her house to listen to CDs. • June doesn’t like to sit still when a good song is playing. • I finally admitted to June that I never learned to dance. The Infinitive Phrase An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and any modifiers or complements the infinitive has. The entire phrase may be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples • The crowd grew quiet to hear the speaker. • To lift those weights takes great strength. PRACTICE: Find the Infinitive Phrase! • Taking care of your bike is one way to make it last. • I learned to place a small drop of oil on each link of the bike chain. • It’s important to use a wrench to tighten the bolts. • My aunt wanted to give me tips about taking care of my bicycle. Infinitives as a Noun • The students wanted to give the right answers. Infinitives as an Adjective • Peanuts and raisins are good snacks to take on a camping trip. Infinitives as an Adverb • We were brave to sing on stage.