Is "using" a preposition? For example: I fight using my sword. or I write using the keyboard.

Is it a preposition or it's something else?


3 Answers 3


"Using" is a participle, but it is an unusual participle in that "using" frequently acts like a preposition.

"I fought him using a sword" means the same as any of the following.

"I fought him with a sword." We clearly would classify ""with" as a preposition.

"Using a sword, I fought him." We would classify "using" as a participle used as an adjective modifying "I." This construction is grammatical, but not usual.

"I fought him by using a sword." We would classify "using" as a participle used as a gerund. This latter form, I suspect, has created by ellipsis the locution of "using" as a quasi-preposition. And that phrase is adverbial in function by describing how the subject fought.


-ing form of the verb is a non finite verb form that serves the function of other parts of speech in addition to its functioning as a verbal, the limitation being that it can't convey the sense of completion a finite verb does.

In the above examples ” using" discharges adverbial function by modify the verb of the respective sentences. I wouldn't call it gerund ( non finite noun form) but participle ( non finite form used both as adjective or adverb).

  1. I fought with him using the sword.
  2. Using sword is not good for children.

The verb's form is yes, present participle.... Yet, second using is gerund because it has played the role of nominative action.

First I think is not gerund to be told, though it can be called a verb form that we say differently as verb 4, present participle or gerund form. Gerund with its original role and Gerund form are different.

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