The word ‘gerund’ brings to my mind some fond memories of school days. It so happened that our subject teacher had announced that we would be doing Gerund next week. He warned us not to miss these classes as Gerund is a crucial topic and a very difficult one at that. Being deeply interested in English language and literature from a very young age, I would keenly look forward to our Grammar classes for a deeper understanding on the subject. (English is not our first language. Yes, we need to learn it!) I bore in my mind, with acute gravity, the teacher’s warning about not missing out on the classes.
But alas! As fate would have it, I fell sick the following week and could not attend the said grammar classes. I was very disappointed, and on returning to the class after a few days, learnt that they were done with Gerunds. Determined as I was, and a little obstinate too, I did not give up and vowed to learn it all by myself, which I did and I did it very successfully, with the result that I now have a better understanding on Gerunds than anyone who had actually attended the classes, and I still remember a great deal of it.
On a footnote: A gerund is a verb and a noun/object combined, or a verb and an adjective combined. It’s a word that does the role of a verb as well as that of a noun/ adjective. For example –
He enjoys reading. (verb + noun/object).
Her smiling face shone with beauty. (verb + adjective)
[Did you notice how I used both ‘he’ and ‘her’ in my examples? Now no one could accuse me of gender bias. But the question was who should go first – he or her? Well, since I am a woman, I would like to go with ‘her’ first, but courtesy dictates we give others a chance too. So, you see, it’s a win-win. He gets to go first and she gets to be courteous. That’s what you call a fair balance!]