A gerund is a verbal noun, just as a gerundive is a verbal adjective. Both are formed from verbs but are used as either a noun (gerund) or an adjective (gerundive).
- In English gerunds end in -ing: 'singing', 'walking', 'seeing'.
Walking is a pleasure. He prefers singing to talking. Seeing is believing. In each instance, the verbal nouns are considered gerunds.
- But in English we use that -ing form of the verb as a present participle as well:
- The crying baby bothers me. - Here "crying" is an adjective (the present participle, to be exact) modifying "baby".
- But the -ing form of an English verb may be the present participle, the gerund, the verb, or even the infintive in Latin.
- Latin Verb: Marcus ambulat. = Marcus is walking.
- Latin Present Participle: Ululantem lupum effugi. = I fled the howling wolf.
- Latin Infinitive: Ambulare est facile. = Walking is easy.
- Latin Gerund: Bene scivit artem coquendi. = He knew well the art of cooking.
Forming the gerundive:
The present active infinitive base is the stem plus-
ndus, nda, ndum. The gerundive is then a 1st and 2nd declension adjective. e.g.
agendus, agenda, agendum = to be done
Forming the gerund:
The gerund is formed much the same way... use the
same base: ambula... , doce..., duce...., capie.....+ nd + case endings. All
gerunds are considered neuter nouns and there is NO nominative case and NO plural
Use of the gerund :
- genitive...He had hopes of winning vincendi
- also after gratia or causa in the ablative...causa
vincendi -for the sake of winning
- dative usually with compound verbs ... Laudando
persuadebat. He was persuaded by praising. A little awkward but an example
- accusative...often after ad to show purpose ad
vincendum for the purpose of winning
- The passive periphrastic is a very popular gerundive
use and occasionally will have a gerund. In this instance, one always sees a
form of the gerund(ive) and a form of the verb 'to be' and the agent doing the
action in the dative case. This construction always shows need or obligation.
Must is a good word to use here.
- Labor mihi agenda est... the work is to be done by me, the
work must be done by me, I must do the work...all acceptable translations.
The gerundive is by far the more popular form and its case will agree with
whatever the subject of the verb 'to be' is.
on following page...
- For the purpose of preparing
- the hope of leaving
- We must leave
- for the sake of defending
- desirous of running
- for the purpose of fighting
- By fighting, he convinced...
- The art of speaking is not lost
- for the sake of sailing quickly
- By running, he will get there first
Answers to Gerund practice exercises :
- ad parandum
- spes relinquendi
- Id relinquendum nostris est.
- Causa defendendi
- cupidus currendi
- ad pugnandi
- pugnando abl. of means
- "ars loquendi" non amittitur
- gratia navigandi celeriter
- Currendo, primo illuc perveniet