Gerunds are verbal nouns
The Gerund is a verbal noun, always active in force. The infintive of the verbs supplies
the nominative case:
Legere est difficile = To read is difficult (reading is difficult)
The other cases are formed by adding -nd- to the present stem of the verb (-iend- for
3rd conjugation I-stems and all 4th conjugation verbs), plus the neuter singular endings
of the second declension. The Gerund has no plural.
Declension of Gerund:
Gen. legendi of reading
Dat. legendo to/for reading
Acc. legendum reading
Abl. legendo from/with/in/by reading
The Gerund functions in grammatical cases like any other noun; but it retains its verbal force and may control a direct object or be modified by an adverb:
Cupidus legendi est. He is desirous of reading. Obj. Gen.
Legendo discimus. We learn by (means of) reading. Abl. of Means
Regi libenter parendo* By obeying the king willingly, Abl. of Means
fortiores fiemus. we shall become stronger.
* Note that verbs governing the dative will do so in the gerund form as well