Myridon: There is a large number of definitions of "block" here: block - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

Only a few of them mention a block having specific shape.

Source: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/anvil-a-heavy-iron-block-on-which.3931328/#post-20125217

I'm not sure if "having" is a present participle or gerund.

  • 2
    Please edit your question (using the small "Edit" button under the question) to tell us what you already know about the difference between present participles and gerunds so we don't reinvent the wheel explaining it. Also, if you include the reason you want to identify this part of speech, it'll improve the quality of the answers you receive.
    – gotube
    Apr 30 at 21:17
  • @gotube I know the difference between present participles and gerunds. However, I'm not sure what "having" is in that context. Apr 30 at 22:19
  • 1
    In general there is no difference between gerunds and present participles. Most modern grammars don't even use the terms. They just talk about the "-ing" form of a verb. So asking "is it a gerund or participle" is like asking if something is a "star" or a "sun". Since stars are suns and the sun is a star.
    – James K
    May 1 at 15:17
  • 1
    @Aaaaaaassssss Please use the "Edit" button to fix your question, not just in the comments.
    – gotube
    May 1 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


Pretty sure this is a participle. A gerund is a verbal noun, and as a noun, it stands alone in the sentence. Additionally, a gerund only functions as a noun. Whereas participles function as a verb (with the help of auxiliaries), an adjective, an adverb, and a noun.

E.g. (gerund)

Walking is a great form of exercise.

I love sleeping.

E.g. (participle)

I saw him sitting there.

They had broken up their marriage.

In the context you gave, having is not a noun or does not act like one, so it has to be a participle. Or more simply, having describes the block having something.

An example of "having" be a gerund is:

I'm thinking about having my driveway repaved.

  • In formal writing, the subject of the gerund should be in the possessive form. Am I right in thinking that "a block having specific shape" shouldn't be changed to "a block's having specific shape"? Apr 30 at 23:58
  • 1
    It should be "Only a few of them mentioned the block's having of a specific shape" @Aaaaaaassssss
    – DialFrost
    May 1 at 0:04
  • I'm not sure if "Pretty" in "Pretty sure" in your reply means "very" or "fairly". May 3 at 22:46
  • 1
    Pretty sure means quite sure @Aaaaaaassssss
    – DialFrost
    May 3 at 23:13

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