Rules Of Grammar: How To Identify A Verbal Phrase
The test to identify whether a phrase is a verbal phrase is as follows: If you don’t need to change the tense of the verb from past to present or present to past in order to change the tense of the entire sentence from past to present or present to past, the phrase is a verbal phrase.
Example: Cooking after doing laundry is exhausting.
Cooking after doing laundry was exhausting.
[Note: You did not have to change the verb “cooking” to “cooked” in order to change the tense of the sentence.]