I have problem understanding the grammatical role of a word in this sentence?

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day. There was this paragraph:

"The prime minister is the first head of government known to have been infected with the new virus, which erupted in China late last year. His hospitalization risks CREATING a leadership vacuum as Britain faces its worst health crisis in more than a century."

I don't understand the role of "creating" which I typed in CAPS in the sentence above. Why is there a participle. Is that sentence even correct? Or did they make a mistake? It can't be a participle clause because it doesn't have the requirements. Please explain what it is.

apple teal 944risks | CREATING a leadership vacuum

verb | gerund clause

The gerund clause occurs where a direct object can occur, so it's a complement of the verb 'risk'. You could have a true direct object with just a slight change:

risks | the creation of a leadership vacuum

In traditional grammar the -ing form is called a gerund when it "replaces" a noun. Otherwise, it's called a participle.


Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
apple teal 944I don't understand the role of "creating"

I didn't at first, either. I read it three times before I realized that "risks" was the main verb. So, I think you're at least a little bit right, and the gerund is infelicitous there.

Thank you very much. I get it now.