When “-ing” comes after verb , does it make it noun like :

A legislation contains giving some right to homeless people.

  • A law or legislation but not a legislation.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 17:49

2 Answers 2


There are two grammatical forms that both have the same -ing form. Those are the progressive participle (sometimes called the present participle by contrast with the past participle, but that's confusing when you also use it for the past progressive and future progressive, and various perfect progressives) and the gerund.

The progressive participle usually forms its various tenses in combination with an auxiliary 'to be', like "I am running", "he was swimming", "you will have been coughing". As such, it behaves grammatically like an adjective, though can only be used in certain ways, but it is still a verb and can still take direct and indirect objects, and takes adverbs as a verb rather than as an adjective.

The gerund behaves grammatically as a noun, but is still a verb form and can take direct and indirect objects and can be modified by adverbs - but also by some adjectives where it makes sense. "I like running", "he dreads difficult swimming", "you look forward to reading your book slowly".

In your example, well, it makes no sense. Legislation can't contain a gerund. If you could say

"A piece of legislation contains provisions giving some rights to homeless people."

In that example, it's acting as a participle. The auxiliary isn't needed here because the participle is the verb in an adjectival clause describing a property of the provisions.

"I enjoy giving rights to homeless people"

In this case, it's a gerund, forming part of a noun phrase - a gerund phrase, in fact.

  • See this answer (and the grammar it references) for a modern approach to gerund-participials.
    – user3395
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 19:38

Verbs can have two -ing forms: a present participle and a gerund.

A present participle is a kind of adjective. it is most often used to make a sentence in a continuous tense, as in this present continuous example:

The boy is swimming

It can also be used to make a participial phrase, which modifies the main sentence:

The new legislation is a big improvement, giving some rights to homeless people.

The gerund is a noun that is used to represent an activity.

swimming is good for you.
Giving is a personal issue that should be incorporated into the personal spending plan - Tax resolution and personal freedom

I think that your sentence will not work with a gerund (noun) form- only with a participial phrase, as in the example above.

  • A gerund is a kind of noun; but it can still take the arguments of the verb, to form a gerund clause (I prefer to call it an "-ing" clause), such as "giving some rights to homeless people". A clause like that functions as a noun phrase, but only some words can take a gerund clause as an object. The verbs "like" and "intend" can; "contain" cannot.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 14:20
  • 1
    +1 I've learned from bitter experience on this form (and even more so at ELU) to never discuss gerunds. The subject seems to be wildly contentious and there will always be people who object in one way or another to how you have defined the word or what specific terminology you use. Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 17:44
  • @Colin Fine "The pipe contains a moving fluid." "The play contains a moving speech" "The law contains a running head" (referring to the physical form of the text) "The law contains a running joke" (referring to the semantic content of the law) "The law contains a passage running roughshod over our rights" Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 5:34
  • @DavidSiegel: I began by saying "A present participle is a kind of adjective", but it's true I didn't give any examples of one as an attributive adjective.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 18:06

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