We know that "try" as a verb has its noun form "try" that can be the subject of a sentence, but is there any chance that "trying" can also be the subject? For example,"constant trying can help us..." Is it correct in grammar? Do we use it like that in daily life?

  • 2
    Yes, a gerund can be used like a noun (Cycling is my favourite form of exercise). Mar 28, 2021 at 11:20
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    Yes: gerund-participial clauses can function as subject, In your example "trying " is a noun by virtue of it being premodified by the adjective "constant" (adjectives cannot modify verbs). It is to be distinguished from the verb form in "constantly trying ...", where it has adverbial premodification and thus must be a verb.
    – BillJ
    Mar 28, 2021 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


A gerund is a noun formed from a verb so you can use it when you would have used a noun

Trying to learn English is making my brain hurt
I failed but it was not for want of trying

are just a couple of examples

If you put gerund sentence subject into your favourite search engine you should get many other examples.

  • Actually, gerunds are verbs that function like nouns, but are not actually nouns themselves. The real nouns formed by conversion from ing verbs are called 'gerundial nouns', or just nouns. Compare "They were criticised for killing the seals" (verb form) ~ They had witnessed the killing of the seals" (noun form).
    – BillJ
    Mar 28, 2021 at 13:34
  • True. Gerunds are verbs still; but trying could just as easily be a noun as a gerund. Unless there's an object, it's hard to tell. If you can put an article in front of it, it's a noun -- The trying took longer than the actual work. Oct 7, 2021 at 22:36

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