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Hi,

I was trying to get more information of gerund and came upon this online On the top, it (the text) had the following wording:

H.W. Fowler (1858-1933). The King' s English, 2nd ed. 1908

Chapter II . Syntax

THE GERUND

What followd next was not eary to follow but from what I can understand, I have several questions from the text that followed:

1. How do we know if something that we are using is a gerund or a participle? How about this? If we use an object pronoun, what follows is an either present or past participle and not a gerund like "him doing this"?

Many years ago I became impressed with the necessity for our infantry being taught and practised in the skifful use of their rifle.-Lord Roberts.

2. In summariaing their own opinion, no. 2 of the points laid out was this: (2) There aretwo opposite tendencies at present: among careful writers, to avoid the fused participle (this, being negative, can naturally not be illustrated) and to put possessive signs in slightly uncomfortable places by way of compensation; among slovenly writers, to throw off all limits of length for the subject of the fused participle.

What is it saying?
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This is a very scholarly work dealing with the complexities and analysis of Grammar, with a special section devoted to Gerunds, participles, and infinitive phrases. If you want to read the entire work, it is online. A link to the entire chapter follows.
This section is on determining if an -ing word is a gerund or a participle. One clear difference between a gerund and a participle is that the gerund has a subject (a participle does not), and this subject should be expressed in the possessive case.
I dislike my best friend('s) violating my privacy.

Unfortunately, if the verbal form is passive, the object becomes the subject, which poses some difficulties for this grammarian.
I dislike my privacy being violated by my friend.
He argues the structure (freind violating) can be read as a participle fused with the noun (this is the fused-participle theory) the-violation-by-a-friend.
He then goes on to argue the this fused participle theory versus the gerund theory.
Then he makes some statements of his opinion on the topic. In preparation, he states 1) The decision cannot be taken from historical analysis, since both forms may have been developed and used. 2) Careful writers avoid the "fused participle", so there are no examples to be found of this construction, and slovenly writers ignore the problem and make grammatical mistakes.
etc. etc. etc.

http://www.bartleby.com/116/212.html
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If Fowler were still alive he'd be 150 years old!!!
I'd recommend a more recent work. Emotion: smile
CJ
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Comments  
The site has the following reference works on line:
American Heritage® Book of English Usage. 1996.
With a detailed look at grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms, this valuable reference work is ideal for students, writers, academicians and anybody concerned about proper writing style.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.
This most extensive handbook of the language ever published features over 6,500 descriptive and prescriptive entires with 4,300 hyperlinked cross-references.

Strunk, William, Jr. 1918. The Elements of Style.
Believing that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any student or writer.

Fowler, H. W. 1908. The King’s English, 2nd ed.
This reference work has remained a standard resource—serving generations of students and writers with commonsense rules of style and grammar.
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I use Strunk a lot - it's very concise and good reading - I'm surprised to find that it is not much newer than Fowler.
Fowler is the most erudite work on classical grammar with many examples and arguments. The others are more in the style of the encyclopedia.
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