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18 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555

Gerunds (-ing)

Gerunds (-ing)

When a verb ends in -ing, it may be a gerund ora present participle. Itis important to understand that they are not the same.
When we use a verb in -ing form more like a noun, itis usually a gerund:
  • Fishingis fun.
When we use a verb in -ing form more like a verboran adjective, itis usually a present participle:
  • Anthony is fishing.
  • I have a boring teacher.
Gerunds are sometimes called "verbal nouns".
In this lesson, we look at how we use gerunds, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Gerunds as Subject, Object or Complement

Try to think of gerunds as verbs in noun form.
Like nouns, gerunds can be the subject, object or complement of a sentence:
  • Smoking costs a lot of money.
  • I don't like writing.
  • My favourite occupationis reading.
But, like a verb, a gerund can also have an object itself. In this case, the whole expression [gerund + object] can be the subject, object or complement of the sentence.
  • Smoking cigarettes costs a lot of money.
  • I don't like writing letters.
  • My favourite occupationis reading detective stories.
Like nouns, we can use gerunds with adjectives (including articles and other determiners):
  • pointless questioning
  • a settling of debts
  • the making of Titanic
  • his drinking of alcohol
But when we use a gerund with an article, it does not usually take a direct object:
  • a settling of debts (not a settling debts)
  • Making "Titanic" was expensive.
  • The making of "Titanic" was expensive.
Do you see the difference in these two sentences? In one, "reading"is a gerund (noun). In the other "reading"is a present participle (verb).
  • My favourite occupationis reading.
  • My favourite nieceis reading.
Show answer

Gerunds after Prepositions

This is a good rule. It has no exceptions!
If we want to use a verb after a preposition, it must be a gerund. Itis impossible to usean infinitive after a preposition. So for example, we say:
  • I will call you after arriving at the office.
  • Please have a drink before leaving.
  • I am looking forward to meeting you.
  • Do you object to working late?
  • Tara always dreams about going on holiday.
Notice that you could replace all the above gerunds with "real" nouns:
  • I will call you after my arrival at the office.
  • Please have a drink before your departure.
  • I am looking forward to our lunch.
  • Do you object tothis job?
  • Tara always dreams about holidays.
The above rule has no exceptions!
So whyis "to" followed by "driving" in 1and by "drive" in 2?
  1. I am used to driving on the left.
  2. I used to drive on the left.

Gerunds after Certain Verbs

We sometimes use one verb afteranother verb. Often the second verbis in the infinitive form, for example:
  • I want to eat.
But sometimes the second verb must be in gerund form, for example:
  • I dislike eating.
This depends on the first verb. Hereis a list of verbs that are usually followed by a verb in gerund form:
  • admit, appreciate, avoid, carry on, consider, defer, delay, deny, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, escape, excuse, face, feel like, finish, forgive, give up, can't help, imagine, involve, leave off, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, put off, report, resent, risk, can't stand, suggest, understand
Look at these examples:
  • Sheis considering having a holiday.
  • Do you feel like going out?
  • I can't help falling in love with you.
  • I can't stand not seeing you.
Some verbs can be followed by the gerund form orthe infinitive form without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start
  • I like to play tennis.
  • I like playing tennis.
  • It started to rain.
  • It started raining.

Gerunds in Passive Sense

We often use a gerund after the verbs need, requireand want. In this case, the gerund has a passive sense.
  • I have three shirts that need washing. (need to be washed)
  • This letter requires signing. (needs to be signed)
  • The house wants repainting. (needs to be repainted)
The expression "something wantsdoing"is not normally used in American English.