VERBALS: Verbals look like verbs but are not the verbs in a sentence. They function as other parts of speech: adjectives, nouns, and adverbs.
Participles- act as adjectives and modify nouns or pronouns. They are "ing" or "ed" (present and past participle verb forms) words. Ex- Who has the winning ticket? The X-ray showed a broken bone. (This verb -to break- is an irregular verb; thus, its past tense is broken, not "breaked.")
A participial phrase is made up of a participle and all of its modifiers, usually prepositional phrases. Ex- Larry made the crown worn by Queen Esther. Tim's mom, standing at the top of the ladder, still couldn't reach the highest shelf in the kitchen. Holding his breath, Jimmy jumped off the bridge.
Gerunds- act as nouns and end in ING. They can function as any noun can. Ex- Skiing is her favorite sport. [subject] Her favorite sport is skiing. [predicate noun] Have you ever tried skiing? [direct object] Give skiing a chance. [indirect object] Sue borrowed a book about skiing. [object of a preposition] A gerund phrase is made up of a gerund and all of its modifiers and complements. Ex- Waiting a long time in a restaurant annoys him. [subject] His pet peeve is waiting in a restaurant. [predicate noun] Anna tried taking tennis lessons. [direct object] Jason left for school without taking his backpack. [object of the preposition]
Infinitives- are a verb form almost always* preceded by the word TO. In a sentence it can act as a noun, adjective, or adverb. Ex- Ann Marie likes to paint. [infinitive as a noun/direct object] We were among the first people to leave. [infinitive as an adjective] He is quick to anger. [infinitive as an adverb]
The word TO is a sign, or marker, of the infinitive. REMEMBER: TO can be a preposition. "To" is part of an infinitive if it is followed by a verb; "to" is a preposition if it is followed by a noun or pronoun. Ex- The toddler likes to sing. [infinitive] The toddler hand the doll to her father. [prepositional phrase]
An infinitive phrase is made up of an infinitive and all of its modifiers and complements. It may contain one or more prepositional phrases. Ex- To become an electrical engineer is Charlie's ambition. It is easy to paint a room with a roller.
* Sometimes the "to" of an infinitive or infinitive phrase is left out or embedded; it is understood. Ex- Hal helped [to]wash the car. Please let me [to]finish this book.