1.I have a fishing rod.

2.I read an interesting book.

Is in (1) ,fishing a gerund or a participle?

In (2), interesting is a participle. Am I right?

Then why "fishing" in (1) is not a participle.

1 2
Hello Hanuman

"Fishing" is a noun meaning action of fish catching.
It has been used as a noun since 1300.
"Fishing rod" is a noun-noun phrase and it was originally hyphenated as "fishing-rod"

"Interesting" is an adjective. Its antonym is "uninteresting".
You can say "uninteresting book".

1.I have a fishing rod.

2.I read an interesting book.

Is {in (1)} fishing a gerund or a participle in 1? OR "In 1, is fishing a ..."

JTT: The placement of 'in 1' is unnatural, Hanuman.

In (2), interesting is a participle. Am I right?

Then why ISN'T "fishing" in (1) [is not] a participle.


Paco has covered this well. I'll just add a few comments.

'fishing rod' is a compound noun. It's the name of an item. As Paco noted new compound words are often hyphenated but the hyphen is dropped as the word becomes notable on its own.

These types of compounds abound in English; paring knife, carving knife, roasting pan, rolling pin, roasting rack, shopping cart, coloring book, parking garage, parking meter, etc.

The intonation for compound nouns is different than that of phrases where the ____ing is an actual participle.

darkroom (for photography) is different from "a dark room", one without lights.

dark horse (an unknown person who surprises everyone with their talent) is different from "a dark horse", a horse that is dark.

dark glasses (sunglasses) are different from "dark glasses", perhaps colored drinking glasses or eyeglasses with dark frames
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi, JTT, just an attempt at answering your post... well, the part that's not for Paco.
Both interesting and fishing are gerunds, I guess.
But "interesting" is also recognized as an adjective: a good/silly/interesting book: a book that is good/silly/interesting.
"fishing" is also recognized as a noun, but not as an adjective: a fishing rod: a rod that's used for the activity called "fishing", not a rod that is fishing.
So in my opinion, interesting IS an adjective in the example, fishing IS NOT. It's a noun that determines the kind of rod.
Both interesting and fishing are gerunds, I guess.

JTT: No, I don't think they are, Pieanne. "fishing rod" is a compound word as is "fishing tackle" and "fishing line". I didn't state that 'fishing' was an adjective.


fishing rod
• noun a long, tapering rod to which a fishing line is attached.

fishing line
• noun a long thread of silk or nylon attached to a baited hook and used for catching fish.

fishing tackle
noun: gear used in fishing

I can't imagine how "interesting" could be a gerund, but ... .
Both are participles since they are serving as adjectives, and not as nouns.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I didn't mean fishing & interesting ARE gerunds in the examples, JTT, sorry I wasn't clearer. i meant " they are also gerunds" or "they can be gerunds".
- I love fishing.(gerundif)
- Look at that fishing bird !(participle)
In "I love fishing" I'm not sure fishing is a gerund? fishing is a gerund, used as a noun.
In " look at that fishing bird", fishing is a participle used as an adjective.
I agree with you!
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more