Participle: adjective. Ends in –ing in the present (walking, running) and in –ed or an irregular ending in the past participle (walked, run).
Infinitive: noun, adjective, or adverb. The word to precedes the dictionary form (to walk, to run).
Gerund: noun. Always ends in an –ing (walking, running).
Since both participles and gerunds can end in – ing, you have to know whether the verbal is functioning as a noun or as an adjective.
Examples of Verbals
- Her shopping spree got her in serious financial trouble. (Shopping is a participle because it is functioning as an adjective modifying the noun spree.)
- Shopping is Samantha’s favorite pastime. (Shopping is a gerund because it is functioning as the subject of the sentence; therefore, it is a noun.)
- Samantha loves to shop. (To shop is an infinitive because the verb shop is preceded by the word to. The infinitive is functioning as a direct object; therefore, it is a noun.)