Verbal Noun Phrases and Coordinating Conjunctions

Gerardo Hernandez


One noun that needs special attention is VERBAL NOUN. Their meanings tend to be actions rather than things. The words are built from verbs, but exhibit many of the properties of nouns.

There are two verbal nouns:


Gerunds are constructed from verb roots by adding the suffix -ing.  (laughing)

They are nouns because they can be heads of noun phrases:

  • His laughing annoyed her.
  • All that coughing disturbed the musicians.
  • The child’s crying made me nervous.

Gerunds can occur with determiners such as

  • Possessive pronouns
  • demonstratives
  • possessive nouns phrases
  • predetermines

Gerundive Phrases – Noun phrases with gerunds as their heads

  • His laughing like a hyena annoyed her. MANNER
  • All that coughing in the audience disturbed the musicians. PLACE
  • The child’s crying all night made me nervous. TIME

Gerundive Phrases can also be the subject of a sentence or direct objects in the sentence:

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