Latin Gerunds

Gerunds are verbal nouns

The Gerund

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:

(Nom.legere reading)

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