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Non-Finites | Participles | Gerunds | Infinitives

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

What are Non-finites?

Ans: Non-finites are those verbs which have no subject and are not changed according to the person or number of the subject or tenses.

Non- Finites are of four kinds.
Verbal Nouns

1. Participles are of three types

a) Present Participles

e.g Walking stick is useful to an old man.

b) Past Participles

e.g. Look at the burnt wood.

c) Perfect Participles

e.g. Having gone there I found him missing.

1.Present Participles


i) Attributively ( as a subject)

  • e.g Walking stick is useful for an old man.

  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.

  • The burning train was running fast.

ii) Predicatively ( e.g. as an object)

  • The officer kept me waiting for an hour.

(iii) It can be used as degrees of comparison.

  • Ram is more pleasing than his brother.

iv) Absolutely with a noun or pronoun going before it.

  • The sky being clear, I went to play.

  • The river being shallow, we went to swim.

  • God willing, we shall meet once again.

v) It may be modified by an adverb

Loudly knocking at the door, he demanded admission. ( modified by adverb 'loudly')

vi) Like a verb it may govern a noun or pronoun.

Hearing the noise, the thief ran away.

vii) As an object complement

e.g. I saw Ram begging.

Errors in the use of participles
The participle being a verb-adjective, it must be attached to a noun or a pronoun.
e.g Sleeping on the bed the snake bit the baby. ( The sentence is wrong)
Ans: Sleeping on the bed/ While sleeping on the bed, the baby was bitten by a snake.
e.g. Standing at the door, a cobra bit him. ( Wrong)
Ans: Standing at the gate/While he was standing at the gate, a cobra bit him.

2. Use of Past Participle

Note: Past participle represents a complete action. It usually ends ' -ed', '-d', '-t', '-en', or '-n'

1.To form perfect Tense.

I have done the work. ( present Perfect)

2. To form the verb in passive voice

The moon was seen by me.

3. As an adjective

Let the departed soul rest in peace.

4. To transform a complex sentence into a simple sentence.

Blinded by a dust storm , they lost their way.

5. After the objects of the verbs- see, here, feel, find, get , keep , make, like, went, wish etc.

e.g. We saw a few trees laden with trees.

3. Perfect Participle

Note: Perfect participle represents an action as complete at some past time.

e.g. Having rested, we continued our journey.

e.g. Having finished my breakfast, I went to the school.

2. Gerunds

A gerund is that form of a verb which ends in -ing and has the force of a Noun and a Verb.

e.g. Swimming is a good exercise.

e.g. Reading is my favourite past time.


1. Subject of a Verb

e.g. Smoking is injurious to health.

2. Object of a verb

e.g. Stop singing now.

3. Complement of a verb. (i,e. like an object of verb)

e.g. Seeing is believing.

e.g. What I dislike most is smoking.

4. Object of a preposition

e.g. I am fond of playing cards.

5. Gerunds are preceded ( going before) by possessive nouns.

e.g. Tour will be fixed after Renu's passing the exams.

e.g. I ask the favour of your granting my prayer.

6. Gerunds are used in compound-nouns.

e.g. The fish fell from the frying pen.

e.g. He bought a new walking stick.

7. Gerunds are used absolutely.

e.g. Playing cards being his aversion, we did not play bridge.

3. Verbal Nouns:

  • A gerund preceded by 'the' and followed by 'of' is called a Verbal Noun.

  • All verbal Nouns are not gerund, but all gerunds are verbal Nouns.

e.g. He is engaged in the reading of a novel.

4. Infinitives

Note: A verb that has a subject but is not limited by person and number of the subject is called Infinitive.

e.g Teach me how to swim.

e.g. I love to read Science Fiction.


1. Subject of a verb

e.g. To err is human.

2. Object of a verb.

e.g. She loves to sing.

3. Complement of a verb

e.g. To see is to believe.

4. Object of a preposition

e.g. The patient is about to die.

Kindly CLICK HERE to solve questions on Non-finites.


2 comentários

Anurag Tripathi
Anurag Tripathi
04 de mar. de 2021

mam i understood non-finites


21 de jan. de 2021

I am santosh class 6 A. This topic is very detailed information and you also explained very well. I also understood clearly. Thank you for all the work. Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching with us.

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