Grammar 101 With Courtney Stodden
GERUNDS VS. PARTICIPLES
As I was looking through Courtney's Twitter feed for examples of different types of good and bad grammar, I learned a thing or two myself. For example, the difference between a gerund and a participle. For the sake of simplicity in this lesson, we will be focusing on present participles specifically, as both present participles and gerunds are words that end in "-ing." The simple difference between them: a present participle is a verb that is used as an adjective, while a gerund is a verb used as a noun. I will admit, this particular example of a gerund is a bit subtle, so you have to consider the author's -- Courtney Stodden! -- intent. Sure, she could have said, "Cooking is not for me," "cooking" being a verb (duh). But she chose to call it a "cooking thing" which made the verb a noun. (Another example: a person can both "run" [verb] or go "on a run" [noun].) "Cooking," in the context of this sentence, is not being used as an adjective, which is why it's not a participle. The bottom tweet makes the difference between gerunds and present participles more obvious; Courtney's intent is to use "sizzling" as an adjective which modifies the noun ("sun"). To compare the two sentences, the "sun" is "sizzling," but the "thing" is not "cooking." Make sense?