Interestingly, Gerund is pronounced JEH-ruhnd. It’s like GIF or Giraffe. I know there’s a debate about the pronunciation of GIF, but the creator, Steve Wilhite, says that it’s said with a soft j.
Simply, a Gerund is a Noun acting as a Verb. A few examples include “going, hearing,” and “having.” We make a Gerund by adding ing to the end of a Verb.
Gerunds in Sentences
Gerunds may be alone or with other words to form a Gerund Phrase. Altogether, this phrase behaves like a single Noun.
Example: Mowing the lawn is no fun
Much like Nouns and Noun Phrases, Gerunds and Gerund Phrases can be found in the Object, Subject, or Predicate Nominative portions of a sentence (In regards to SVO). And so, Gerunds can act in any way an ordinary Noun can.
Like all idioms, the meaning isn’t clear upon reading. Idioms are somewhat cryptic. Their meanings come about due to use rather than diction (dictionary meaning). Some idioms are very old and have evolved over time. This idiom began as “hope springs eternal in the breast of man.”
Meaning of the Idiom: “Hope Springs Eternal”
It expresses the belief that it’s human nature to keep on hoping against all odds. Even when there’s no reason to be hopeful, people continually find something to be optimistic about.
You may hear a native English speaker say:
“I never win the lottery, but hope springs eternal.”
By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that although they never purchase a winning lotto ticket, they believe that someday they will.
However, the idiom has been used sarcastically as well. There are many instances when the idiom is used to express a feeling of hopelessness. For example, you may hear someone say:
“I’ve waited years for my wife to return to me, but hope springs eternal.”
In this scenario, the speaker knows that his wife will never return. He is being sarcastic about hoping for her return.
An Independent Clause expresses a complete thought. But, a Dependent Clause, also known as a Subordinate Clause, gives a partial thought, it cannot exist on its own as a sentence. It must be combined with one or more Independent Clauses to form a complete idea.
When there’s enough snow, we’ll make snowballs.
For example, the sentence:
“When there’s enough snow, we’ll make snowballs,”
contains both an Independent and Dependent Clause.
The clause “when there’s enough snow” is dependent. It can’t exist on its own. The phrase lacks an Object (in regards to SVO). However, “we’ll make snowballs” is a complete thought and can exist as a sentence.
Figures of Speech arephrases that have a different meaning from their literal definition. These are somewhat simialar but differ from Idioms.
On one hand, a Figure of Speech is nonliteral and imaginative language but can be understood by someone who isn’t familiar with that particular Figure of Speech. On the other hand, it’s impossible to understand an idiom without being familiar with that particular idiom.
In general, Figures of Speech can be metaphors or similes but can fall into other categories as well. Figures of Speech are designed to make comparisons. This is achieved by devices such as alliteration (the repetition of certain sounds) or exaggeration, known as hyperbole. This creates a dramatic effect.
Alliteration in figurative language is fun. For example, you may hear a native English speaker say:
“I bought a box of bricks.”
The repetitive b sound makes the phrase have a nice ring to it. Not just is the saying alliteration, it’s hyperbolic.
Hyperbole, one of my favorite types of figurative speech, exaggerates an attribute of something, calling attention to it. In the above example, I didn’t literally buy “a box of bricks.” I bought a faulty product. I called the product “a box of bricks” because it didn’t work correctly. You, in your lifetime, have probably bought “a box of bricks” too, perhaps you purchased a faulty phone.
Ophelia is my guardian angel
Here’s another example of hyperbole:
“Ophelia is my guardian angel.”
In reality, Ophelia isn’t a mythical creature. But she helps me when I’m in need, and so, I used this hyperbole when discussing her.
Many idioms were first penned by a famous writer or poet, but “spring is in the air” has no known author. Perhaps it came from ancient societies where planting and warmer weather were essential to their livelihood, but this is unknown.
As an expression, “spring is in the air” means spring has arrived or is coming soon. In addition, the idiom conveys a feeling of optimism. To summarize the idiom, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the grass is growing and good things are on the horizon.
The idiom was most notably used by Westlife, an Irish boy band, in the song Seasons in the Sun. They use it as a farewell to the old, in an almost sorrowful way.
Here’s a dialogue that might help you understand the idiom “spring is in the air:”
Mary: “I don’t think I did well on my exams.”
Susan: “You’ll do better next time.”
Mary: “I’m not too worried about it, and anyway, spring is in the air.”
Notice how Mary uses the idiom to show a sense of optimism while telling the reader of the season. From reading this, we become aware that Mary, although it isn’t said, has an optimistic outlook as the season changes from winter to spring.
When we combine different parts of speech, clauses are formed. An Independent clause is a clause that can form a sentence of its own having a subject and a predicate.
To The Moon
Clauses are separated from each other by commas. For example, when John F. Kennedy gave his ‘To The Moon speech’, he used long sentences with many clauses.
Here’s an excerpt of that speech:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
In this speech, he used a combination of Clauses to get his point across. One of the Independent Clauses is “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things. ” This Independent Clause is interjected by the Dependent Clause “not because they are easy.”
Figures of Speech, like idioms, have evolved through usage, rather than the work of Lexicographers, those who decide what goes in the dictionary. But unlike idioms, the meaning of the Figures of Speech known as metaphors can be deduced through logic.
Figures of Speech fall into many categories. They can be
What are Metaphors?
Metaphors, the language of poets, are Figure of Speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t exactly true.However, these untruths help to describe the object or actions by comparing them to something else. For example, you may hear a native English speaker say:
Adam is a walking encyclopedia
“Adam is a walking encyclopedia of music.”
Upon hearing this Metaphor, you would be correct to assume that Adam isn’t literally a collection of books that give information on many subjects. Adam is simply knowledgeable about music.
Most languages have idioms about change. And, there are many different sayings that express getting a new outlook or starting again.
One of my favorite idioms of change is an ancient Chinese saying: “Mountains crumble to the sea over time, yet people remain the same.” However, we are here to discuss the idiom “Turn over a new leaf.”
Oddly, this idiom has nothing to do with leaves. It’s about becoming a new person, a better person. Someone who “turns over a new leaf” changes the direction of their life.
Using the idiom turn over a new leaf
How can I use the idiom – turn over a new leaf?
Kevin Turns Over a New Leaf
Kevin was a troublemaker. He never went to class. He never listened to his parents. He would even laugh at the lessons his elders tried to teach him, saying “You don’t know anything old man,” as the family spoke to him of ancient books and traditions. But one day Kevin came to me and said, “I’m tired of causing mischief. I will study and make good marks in school.” To which I said, “You are young and have time to turn over a new leaf.”
Kevin will begin to do the right thing. He will turn over a new leaf by making good grades in school and listening to his parents.
Adverbs of Manner describe how an action of a verb is done. For example, “Yohanne plays the flute,” tells us nothing more than the fact that he plays the instrument. However, by adding an Adverb of Manner, we can describe how he plays the flute.
Yohanne plays flute melodically.
“Yohanne plays the flute slowly.”
“Yohanne plays the flute badly.”
“Yohanne plays the flute quickly.”
Notice that the Adverb is underlined. In many ways, they are like an Adjective, they describe something, however, an Adjective is used to describe a noun.
When you think about it, Adverbs of Manner are useful because they allow the speaker to include extra details in descriptions. They make what the Speaker says more interesting and dynamic. For example:
“Yohanne plays flute melodically,” sounds poetic. This statement shows the contrast between a musician playing badly and well.