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?
GERUNDS VS. PARTICIPLES
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