How to Use Gerunds in English
Gerunds are words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns.
- I was running with my friends
- I love playing soccer
- Let’s go dancing at the club tonight.
- Swimming in the ocean is dangerous
- Going to college is expensive
- Dreaming is my hobby during long winter holidays
Types of Gerunds
We use gerunds as:
- subjects: Hiking is good for health.
- objects: He enjoys hiking.
- subject complements: My favorite activity is playing soccer
- objects of prepositions: I asked him about playing soccer
Check this chart to see how the four types of gerunds work
|Subject||Travellng is awesome||The program is awesome|
|Object||He enjoys playing||He enjoys games|
|subject complements||My favorite activity is hiking||My favorite activity is chess|
|objects of prepositions||I arrested him for speeding.||I arrested him for criminal acts|
#1 The Gerund as the Subject of a Sentence
Gerunds can be the subject of a sentence in English
|Gerund as a subject|
|Running is very important|
Examples of gerunds as subjects of a sentence
- Gambling is a very dangerous occupation.
- Flying makes me nervous.
- Gardening is my favorite hobby.
- Running is good exercise.
- Playing soccer is good for your health
- Singing makes Sarah happy
#2 The Gerund as Direct Object in a sentence
A gerund can also function as the direct object in a sentence.
Let’s look at it in the following sentence:
- Sarah enjoys singing.
- I hope you will enjoy my offering you this chance
- My neighbors admire my gardening
- They do not appreciate my singing
#3 Gerunds as the Object of Preposition
- Thank you for choosing my lesson.
- I’m thinking about living in Norway
- I’m interested in collecting stamps.
- I will call you after arriving at the office.
- The police arrested him for speeding
#4 The Gerund as a Subject complement
- One of life’s pleasures is having breakfast in bed.
- My favorite pastime is reading books
- Something that I hate is working long hours
- All I have been doing is watching TV
- One of the things I do is exercising
- Peter’s ideal move is walking away from his friends
- My favorite thing to do is cooking.
- My cat’s favorite activity is sleeping.
Gerunds in English: Other Considerations
The Gerund After Prepositions
- Can you sneeze without opening your mouth?
- She is good at painting.
- Leslie got into trouble for talking to Sarah.
- Brush you teeth before going to bed.
- Call my mom after doing the laundry
- Besides singing, Sarah likes dancing.
The Gerund After Phrasal Verbs
- When will you give up smoking?
- She always puts off going to the dentist.
- Tom looked into finding a new apartment.
- She took a long time to get over losing her mom
- I am going to quit drinking
The Gerund in Compound Nouns
- I am giving Sally a driving lesson.
- They have a swimming pool in their back yard.
- I am taking singing lessons
- I bought some new running shoes.
- She has a dancing lesson.
The Gerund After Some Expressions
- She couldn’t help falling in love with him.
- I can’t stand being stuck in traffic jams.
- When I came in they stopped talking.
- I enjoy Cooking with my mom
- I love playing soccer
Gerunds vs. Present Participles
A gerund is not the same thing as a present participle even though both terms end in “-ing.”
Sarah is singing
- In this example, “is singing” is the verb phrase. “Singing” is the present progressive verb, telling what the subject “Sarah” is doing.
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