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The ing forms of verb are used as noun, adjective, subject or object. Can it be used as a verb only.

Regards;

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    Yes, of course, that's their prime use. They occur in progressive constructions (Ed is swimming), and as heads of non-finite gerund-participial clauses (Bringing your dad was a good idea, Who was the doctor performing the operation?).
    – BillJ
    Jun 19, 2016 at 15:26

2 Answers 2

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We often use the -ing form with the verb-to-be to express what is happening or what someone or something is doing, that is, to express the idea of "action underway, action-in-progress".

She was singing a ballad.

The sun is rising in the east.

The carpenter is squaring a wooden board.

The ship is sinking.

The dentist is extracting a tooth.

The team will be playing tomorrow.

The verb-to-be (is, was, are, were, will be [in the case of future], et cetera) supplies the tense information to indicate whether the action-in-progress is happening now, was happening in the past, has been happening in the recent past and is still happening now, had been happening in the distant past until something changed, or will be happening in the future.

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  • Note to readers: The construction @TimR is describing is commonly referred to as either the progressive or the continuous aspect. For example, "is sitting" is the present progressive (or continuous) of "to sit"; "had been sitting" is the past perfect progressive/continuous of "to sit," etc. Nov 29, 2023 at 22:04
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In general (you didn't provide any details or examples), I do not think so.

As a learner, I can say that:

A verb is a word that you can find in a Dictionary, e.g., go, buy, speak, ... and the ones that are based on them.

verb + ing can no longer be be a verb although it can be a part of it . verb+ ing can be used in three ways:

  1. Gerunds
  2. Present participles
  3. Adjectives
  4. Perfect participles = having + PP

Moreover, past participles are also based on the verbs. They are of two types

  1. Regular Past Participles
  2. Irregular Past Participles

However, when you use verbs for present simple and past simple tenses, you probably would have to change the verbs.


It is important to mention: if participles (past and present) come after be-verbs, they considered as a part of the verb.

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  • @BillJ So, you say learning is a verb ? In this regard, what is the is/are/was/were learning ?
    – Cardinal
    Jun 19, 2016 at 18:40
  • All the forms in the verb paradigm belong to the word category (part of speech) verb. The fact that the inflected forms are not listed separately in a dictionary is irrelevant. The ing forms are verbs in their own right and occur in progressive constructions (Ed is swimming), and as heads of non-finite gerund-participial clauses (Bringing your dad was a good idea; Who was the doctor performing the operation?).
    – BillJ
    Jun 19, 2016 at 18:43
  • I am not native, but I am very meticulous in grammar lessons. I do not agree with you. "he left the school, crying" this sentence has only one verb which is left as well as was in yours.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 19, 2016 at 18:48
  • Yes "learning" is a verb; what else could it be? The progressive aspect is formed by means of auxiliary "be" followed by a gerund-participle, the latter being very much a verb!
    – BillJ
    Jun 19, 2016 at 18:51
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    @Cardinal The problem here is that there are, (a), grammatical jobs like Subject, Object, Adjunct (read Adverbial), Determiner, Modifier, Head and things like that. Then there are, (b), word categories like noun, verb, adjective, adverb, determinative and things like that. But being a Subject isn't the same as being a noun. And being an Adjunct isn't the same as being an adverb. You are right that there is a lot of very bad and confusing terminology! :-) Jun 20, 2016 at 0:31

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