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How to Use the Gerund for English

Updated: Jan 10, 2022


Gerunds are the words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns. Gerunds can be easily identified as a verb with ing in the end. There are no exceptions to this rule.

E.g.: “sleeping,” “drawing,” “swimming.”

However, they are not the “-ing” verb forms that we see in the present or past continuous tense. They look the same, but gerunds are actually verb forms used as nouns.

(Important note: Present participles also end in ing; however, present participles do not act as nouns. Instead, they act as modifiers or complete progressive verbs.)


  • Going to a picnic is fun.

  • We will go dancing at the club tonight.

  • I’ve been thinking of summer all this time

  1. Gerunds after the following specific verb

  • Admit- e.g.: Joe admitted having driven the car too fast.

  • Carry on e.g.: If we carry on playing like this, we may miss the bus.

  • Avoid-e.g..: It is better to avoid going on vacation on weekends

  • Consider- e.g.: Dad is considering buying a new car

  • Deny- e.g.: Cassie denies hitting her brother

  • Delay- e.g.: I delayed returning Max the book

  1. Gerunds after special phrases

  • To be busy- e.g.: He is busy writing the thesis

  • Feel like- e.g.: I feel like having noodles for dinner

  • How about-e.g.: How about walking home instead of taking the car?

  • What about-e.g.: What about going to the movie?

  • There's no point-e.g.: There's no point in going now

  • Worth-e.g.: The movie is worth watching

Sentence patterns for Gerunds

  1. Gerunds for Negative Sentences

Here, not usually comes before the gerund:

e.g.: There is no point in applying for the grant.

Gerunds may be used exactly as nouns are used. Their most common uses are-

a) Gerunds can be used as a subject of a sentence.


  • Walking is good for health.

  • Making friends is difficult in a new school

b) Gerunds can be used as objects of a sentence


  • I enjoy painting

  1. Gerunds are used after prepositions


  • I talked him out of taking that job.

Here, the gerund “taking” follows the preposition “of.”

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