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Distinguishing Finite Verbs from Verbals
Verbs That Function as Adjectives (Gerundives # 2)
Analysis Key

These sentences were adapted from the writing of third graders.

1. He and a girl named Rose were friends (PN) forever. |

"A girl named Rose" fails the sentence test, so "named" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "girl." "Rose" is a retained predicate adjective after the passive "named." (Note that the sentence means "a girl *who was* named Rose.")
2. {In the afternoon}, my sister was working outside planting flowers. |
"My sister planting flowers" fails the sentence test. Note that an "and" before "planting" would make planting a compound finite verb, but there is no "and." Thus "planting" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "sister" and should not be underlined twice. "Flowers" is the direct object of "planting."
3. The next day [NuA] we sat there looking very silly. |
"We looking very silly" fails the sentence test. Thus "looking" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "we." "Silly" is a predicate adjective after "looking," as in "we looked silly."
4. We had problems (DO) looking {for a place} to stay. |
"We looking for a place ..." fails the sentence test. Thus "looking" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies [Alternatively, "looking" can be explained as a gerund that functions as a Noun Used as an Adverb.] "We." "To stay" fails the "to" test, and is thus also a verbal. (It is an infinitive that functions as an adjective to "place.")
5. There were cameras (PN) hidden {around the place}. |
"Cameras hidden around the place" fails the sentence test. Thus "hidden" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "cameras."
6. The squirrel found a nut (DO) lying {on the ground}. |
"A nut lying on the ground" fails the sentence test, so "lying" is a verbal (gerundive) that functions as an adjective to "nut."
7. Jerry said [DO that his puppy comes running to see him]. |
Within KISS, "comes running" can be considered the finite verb phrase here, a variant of the palimpsest pattern with "puppy comes" written over "puppy runs." But "puppy running" would fail the sentence test, so "running" can also be explained as a verbal, a gerundive that modifies "puppy." "To see him" fails the "to" test," so "to see" is not a finite verb. [It is an infinitive (of purpose) that functions as an adverb to "comes."] "Him" is the direct object of "to see."
8. We had fun (DO) playing {with the puppies}. |
"We playing with the puppies" fails the sentence test, so "playing" is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "We."