How to Use the Gerund for English
Updated: Jan 10
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
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
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
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
Gerunds are used after prepositions
I talked him out of taking that job.
Here, the gerund “taking” follows the preposition “of.”