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Hi! Here're the sentences '' Before closing the door, be sure you have your keys'' and '' After changing your clothes, begin your homework''.

Can't believe the nouns in bold are gerunds. Very much look like participles or am I wrong?

Thank you.
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I'm a poor one to be answering this question. The phrases are participial phrases, "closing the door," and "changing your clothes," but both of these phrases function as object of the preposition.

before the flood
after the flood

"Flood" is a noun, functioning as object of the preposition.

When a phrase functions as object of the preposition, we call it a noun phrase.

If you used the single words as object of the preposition, you'd have no problem calling them gerunds:

Be sure to finish your drink before closing.
Put your dirty clothes in the hamper after changing.

As I said, when a phrase functions as an object, or some other sort of noun, we call it a noun phrase. If the phrase is headed by a participle, it's current practice to then call that participle a gerund, and to then call the phrase a gerundive (or gerund) phrase.
Avangi, thank you. When I put these phrases at the end of the sentence, it became clear that it’s a gerund in the role of the object of the preposition.
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Avangiit's current practice to then call that participle a gerund,

Your information is right, Avangi, but the terminology sounds odd to me. You can't call a participle a gerund, just like you can't call a cat a dog. A cat and a dog are two different things, just like a participle and a gerund are two different things. In English they just may look the same.

For the original poster, after and before are prepositions and a gerund is used after all prepositions in English.

CB
Your information is right, Avangi, but the terminology sounds odd to me. You can't call a participle a gerund....

I agree, it seems that there is quite a bit of confusion on present particples and gerunds. Although the same " ING for of the words" may be spelled the same but it's named differently according to how it's used in the sentence.

Expecting
a good raise, Mary went out on a shopping spree. Participle

After working 2 straight weeks on the project, John took a few days off to Hawaii. Gerund
I appreciate your position, CB. I guess it's a chicken-vs-egg thing. There are certain "verb parts" which I think of as primary, something like the "principle parts." In my mind, the participles are among these.

When you say that a certain verb tense is formed by "using" certain auxilliaries plus the past participle, for example, at what point does the auxilliary suddenly become part of the verb tense - at what point does the p.p. suddenly become part of the verb tense? When you read the sentence and stop and point to the verb, do you say, "Hey, that's the past participle of the verb "to go"? When a structurre takes the bare infinitive, do you point and say, "Hey, that's the bare infinitive"? Does the verb "to be" stop being the verb "to be" while it's functioning as part of a passive structure?

I think it's great for versatile verbal elements to function in various ways. I just have a hard time letting go of the notion that a gerund began life as a present participle. But I'm working on it. I think there are people who deny that there's any relationship at all between a present participle and a gerund. Personally, I wouldn't mind if they called an infinitive a gerund when it functions as a noun.

Somewhere down the road to Damascus I shall probably see the light. As I say, I'm working on it.
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Cool BreezeYou can't call a participle a gerund, just like you can't call a cat a dog.
I have to lie down and think about this a while. It has something to do with form vs. function, I think. Emotion: smile
Cool Breezeafter and before are prepositions and a gerund is used after all prepositions in English.
I find this a very easy and useful explanation, especially if we are only interested in the superficial appearance of the structure.

Nevertheless, I find that it doesn't go deep enough for some kinds of analysis. I don't think that, in some sense, after and before, used temporally, are ever prepositions on the deep level, but rather, that they are subordinating conjunctions. Their complements always contain something verbal. Plain nouns can't occur after after and before in their temporal meanings.

after the chair, after the ceiling, after an umbrella make no sense.

So I don't find that

After walking the dog, I ate breakfast

necessarily can be said to contain a gerund, because it so strongly suggests

After (I walked the dog), I ate breakfast.


where I walked the dog is not at all noun-like. I'm convinced I've seen statements in the linguistic literature which refer to these as (adverbial) participial clauses.

And that structure doesn't strike me as the same kind of thing found in

Walking the dog really gets my blood circulating.

which I would unhesitatingly call a gerund.

And yet I cannot hit on the exact reason why I sense a difference. Emotion: sad

CJ
These can be considered gerund phrases that name an event. "before closing the door", "after changing your clothes". These can both be considered events.

ie. "Because they are nounlike, we can think of gerunds as names. But rather than naming persons, places, things, events, and the like, as nouns generally do, gerunds,because they are verbs in form, name activities or behaviors or states of mind or states of being."

- narrative2006
CalifJimI don't think that, in some sense, after and before, used temporally, are ever prepositions on the deep level, but rather, that they are subordinating conjunctions. Their complements always contain something verbal. Plain nouns can't occur after after and before in their temporal meanings.

after the chair, after the ceiling, after an umbrella make no sense.


What about:

We had a drink after the match.

We can talk about it after lunch.

CB
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