Please tell me if "standing" is a gerund or an adjective-

The man standing over there is a friend of mine.

1 Answer 1


Standing is a present participle which is:

grammar: a verb form that ends in “-ing” and that is used with “be” to refer to action that is happening at the time of speaking or a time spoken of

If you put back the omitted relative pronoun and the verb "be", the sentence will be:

The man who is standing over there is a friend of mine.

The man is standing at the time of speaking. And "standing" is post-modifying the subject when whiz-deletion occurs.

Present or past participles are usually used as an adjective pre-modifying or post-modifying a noun or noun phrase.

  • 2
    If past participle and present participle used as an adjective then how to differentiate between participle and adjective? As both modifying the noun
    – Rocky
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:55
  • @Rocky sometimes participles are used as an adjective and just verbs. It depends on the construction of a sentence. You need to do your own research with example sentences. Google them and you will find the answers. It is not easy to tell, but time will solve the problem if you try to get yourself familiarized with them.
    – user24743
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:57
  • 2
    Okay, but if I say "he is a working man" then 'working' is also participle or adjective?
    – Rocky
    Apr 21, 2016 at 9:01
  • @Rocky An adjective.
    – Schwale
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:34
  • If 'working' is an adjective then in above example why 'standing' is participle? as 'working' is also telling that man is working at the time of saying? Also why 'working' is not gerund?
    – Rocky
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:38

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