German Gerund


Definition: The normal gerund noun is generally the same word as the infinitive. The gerund does not have a plural, and its gender is neuter.

Examples in German:

to work
working
arbeiten
Das Arbeiten

NOTE: "Die Arbeiten" is not the feminine plural of the gerund "Arbeiten", it is the plural of "Die Arbeit".

There is another kind of gerund that implies disapproval of the action. The ending of this form is "-erei" ( "-lerei" or "erei" ). It does not have a plural, and its gender is feminine.

Examples in German:

to work
this silly working

arbeiten
Die Arbeiterei
to smile
this silly smiling

lächeln
Die Lächelrei

Similar to the form presented above, you can put the prefix "ge-" (after the separable prefix), if the verb doesn't have a permanent prefix, and attach the ending "-e" ( "-el", "-er" ). This noun indicates the same disapproval as the other one. It is a singularetantum, too, and it is masculine.

Examples in German:

to drive
silly driving

fahren
Das Gefahre
smiling
silly smiling

lächeln
Das Gelächel

These forms are very hard to build for complex infinitives, therefore they are very unusual. Most of the time you do this, and you won't do that very often, you must ensure that all object phrases and adverbial phrases are put before the gerund noun.

Examples in German:
to be seen - being seen
gesehen werden - Das Gesehen-Werden



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