English grammar: gerunds


Advanced English Grammar Course

A gerund is a word that looks like a verb, but functions as a noun in the sentence. Gerunds are formed by using the -ING form of the verb: reading, swimming, studying, etc. However, when it comes to grammar, they act as nouns.

Here are some common ways to use gerunds in English:

As the subject of a sentence:

  • Swimming is a great workout.
  • Reading books can help you learn new vocabulary.
  • Eating junk food can cause weight gain.

As the object of the verb “to be”:

  • My favorite activity is hiking.
  • One of your duties is taking notes in meetings.
  • His biggest mistake was trusting the salesperson.

After possessives:

  • He doesn’t enjoy my singing.
  • Her cooking is simple but tasty.
  • The baby’s crying woke me up.

After prepositions:

  • They left without saying goodbye.
  • I went to the gym after finishing my work.
  • You can improve your English by taking a course.
  • This knife is great for chopping vegetables.

After some phrasal verbs:

  • I put off starting the project until the last minute.
    (put off = delayed)
  • She keeps on bothering me when I’m trying to concentrate.
    (keeps on = continues, does repeatedly)
  • We ended up cancelling the picnic due to bad weather.
    (ended up = finally took the action)
  • I look forward to meeting you next week.
    (look forward to = anticipate, be excited about)

Your turn!

Complete each of these sentences with a gerund (a verb/action in the -ING form):

  • __________ makes me happy.
  • __________ is difficult for me.
  • When I was a child, my favorite activity was ____________.
  • You can improve your life by ______________.
  • I’m currently looking forward to ______________.

You can study English grammar for hours, but can you actually use it in your own English? It’s very important to create your own sentences with the grammar you are learning – this will help you remember it better, and then you’ll be able to use English grammar more naturally when speaking or writing.

My Advanced English Grammar Course can help you learn and practice!

Improve your grammar skills and get corrections on your writing:

aegc-transparent

Learn more about this course