Is "shopping" a noun, verb or a gerund?


In the sentence,

I asked her if she was going shopping and could get me some toothpaste

Is shopping a noun,verb or a gerund?
Can we put two verbs together like this: “I am going swimming this, Friday.”


Posted 2014-07-16T19:45:53.290

Reputation: 819



It can be all three.

  • Verb in participle form: I am shopping.
  • Gerund: Shopping is fun.
  • Noun: I finished the shopping an hour ago.


Posted 2014-07-16T19:45:53.290

Reputation: 1 798


In this particular case, "to go shopping" is part of a broader pattern of "to go X-ing". Other examples include "I'm going bowling", "I'm going fishing", "I'm going running", etc. I would classify shopping in this case as a gerund.

To answer your second question, most verbs that can be used in this pattern are leisure activities (hiking, swimming, riding). One interesting case is that "to go drinking" is fairly common, while "to go eating" is not.

See the wiktionary entry for go, definition 30.

Aaron Brown

Posted 2014-07-16T19:45:53.290

Reputation: 1 547


Some grammar books don't use the specialised term 'gerund'. Michael Swan, in 'Practical English Usage' (3rd ed, 2005, section 293 and following), calls it the '-ing form'. He writes:

We can use -ing forms (e.g. smoking, walking) not only as verbs, but also like adjectives or nouns. Compare:

You're smoking too much these days. (verb: part of present progressive)

There was a smoking cigarette end in the ashtray. (adjective describing cigarette end)

Smoking is bad for you. (noun: subject of sentence)


Posted 2014-07-16T19:45:53.290

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