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Distinguishing Finite Verbs from Verbals
Verbs That Function as Adjectives (Gerundives # 1)
Analysis Key

These sentences are adapted from the writing of third graders.

1. My cat was sitting there watching me. |

"My cat watching me" fails the sentence test. Note that if there were an "and" before "watching," "watching" would be a compound finite verb, but there is no "and." Thus "watching" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "cat." "Me" is the direct object of "watching."
2. Once there was a boy (PN) named Tommy. |
"A boy named Tommy" fails the sentence test, so "named" should not be underlined twice. (It is a gerundive that modifies "boy." "Tommy" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "named.")
3. I got up and looked {out of my window}, wondering [DO when the noise would stop]. |
"I wondering" fails the sentence test, so "wondering" should not be underlined twice. It functions as an adjective to "I."
4. We heard a voice (DO) saying, [DO "*You* Go away!"] |
"A voice saying ...." fails the sentence test. Thus "saying" is a verbal (a gerundive) that modifies "voice."
5. This story is {about a girl} named Sue. |
"A girl named Sue" fails the sentence test. Thus "named" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "girl." "Sue" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "named."
6. They saw the snake (DO) moving {on the ground}. |
"The snake moving on the ground" fails the sentence test. Thus "moving" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "snake."
7. {At school}, they know a girl (DO) called Sally. |
"A girl called Sally" fails the sentence test. Thus "called" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "girl." "Sally" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "called."
8. I heard my mom (DO) calling me {for breakfast}. |
"My mom calling me" fails the sentence test, so "calling" is a verbal (a gerundive) that modifies "mom." "Me" is the direct object of "calling."