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Can someone please help me? I have to do a grammar analysis of an article for homework and I am having trouble working out the difference between verbs and gerunds, particulary in one sentence of the article. I want to know how the words joining and succumbing are being used?

"His compliments are also barbed: if our current monetary arrangements work so well, why risk everything by joining Mr Blair's beloved euro and succumbing to the untested and inferior monetary regime that comes with it?"

Are the words joining and succumbing verbs, as I suspect, or gerunds?
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Hi,

Can someone please help me? I have to do a grammar analysis of an article for homework and I am having trouble working out the difference between verbs and gerunds, particulary in one sentence of the article. I want to know how the words joining and succumbing are being used?

"His compliments are also barbed: if our current monetary arrangements work so well, why risk everything by joining Mr Blair's beloved euro and succumbing to the untested and inferior monetary regime that comes with it?"

Are the words joining and succumbing verbs, as I suspect, or gerunds?

It's not always easy to see when something stops seeming like a gerund and starts seeming like a verb. However, these seem like gerunds to me. Here are a couple of reasons.

First, I can replace them in the structure by a noun. eg Why risk everything by this decision?

Second, there is no action happening here. The speaker is just considering 'joining/succumbing' as possible activities. eg He could just as easily say, eg 'Joining Mr. Blair's beloved euro is a risky thing to do'.

Best wishes, Clive
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By is a preposition and all prepositions take the gerund. In other words, joining and succumbing are gerunds. A gerund, on the other hand, is half a verb, half a noun. One verblike quality of a gerund is the fact that it can have an object, like a verb: I like reading books.

CB