Gerunds

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Gerunds

It can be difficult to know when you can use a gerund, a bare infinitive or ‘to’ + infinitive, and whether it is correct. A gerund is an –ing ending. For examples: running, enjoying, playing etc. There are three rules as to when you need to use the gerund (verb + –ing):

  • The gerund is used after specific verbs that usually always take the gerund form afterwards.
  • We use the gerund after prepositions, e.g.: until, by, before etc.
  • We use the gerund as the subject or the object of a sentence e.g.: playing football is great.

Gerunds are used after specific verbs that usually always take the gerund form. These verbs take the gerund form

FancyShe fancies leaving early.
DiscussI’ve discussed going on vacation with her.
AvoidMary usually avoids partying.
KeepI keep insisting to her.
RecommendHarry recommends getting a head-start.
SuggestJoseph had suggested travelling to Paris.
MindI don’t mind getting dirty.
DislikeShe really dislikes smoking.
EnjoyLet’s enjoy spending our time together.
FinishI’ll finish running through your work.
RiskDon’t risk losing your job.
Can’t helpHarry can’t help cheating.
Can’t standMaria can’t stand getting up early.
AppreciateSamuel appreciates being able to come.
PractiseI will have been practising swimming for two years by tomorrow.
PostponePlease don’t postpone meeting the venture capitalist.
MissShe was missing studying.
DelayThey delayed flying.
ConsiderI shall consider coming tonight.
InvolveMy education involves learning lots about geography.
DenyThe accused denied stealing.
CompleteThey will complete training in thirty minutes.
UnderstandI understand living here is difficult.
TolerateThe courts won’t tolerate shouting.
MentionI think he mentioned leaving at around 20:00h.
ImagineLast night she imagined arriving late.
RecallThe man recalled saving the guy’s life.
ReportThe journalist reported interviewing the chief in stuff.
AnticipateYou must anticipate arriving at that time.

The gerund form (verb + –ing) must be used after all prepositions

Prepositions include: simple prepositions, double prepositions, participial prepositions, compound prepositionsphrasal prepositions.  

BeforeBefore arriving, please take your shoes off.
OfI received a lot of complaining.
ByBy discovering the new properties we were able to go ahead.
UntilNot until writing my book did I know.
ForFor smoking in the hallway, you will be punished.
ThroughI’ll go through with taking the choice.
UnderUnder ‘pressing the button’.
OverI’ll speak to her over handling the situation properly.
Aside fromAside from not knowing the problem she hadn’t met anyone previously.
Pursuant toThe clause states that pursuant to finalising the deal, we must…
According toWell, according to him, opening the account there isn’t a good idea.
UponUpon arriving in New York we suddenly got lost.
AmidWe were amid making some very serious decisions.
WithoutDon’t speak to him without consulting me first.

We use the gerund (verb + –ing)  as a subject or an object of a sentence 

SubjectSmoking is an unhealthy habit.
ObjectI liked your taking part in the activity.
SubjectImagining things instead of telling the truth isn’t a good idea.
ObjectI let him know that understanding the issue is vital.
SubjectGetting out of this city is my main priority.
ObjectYou mustn’t tell Ann over my leaving late today.
SubjectTelling lies is not a good idea.
ObjectExplain to her about my telling off.
SubjectJumping is fun.

(Subjects and objects in random order) (more on subjects and objects): Pronouns; subject, object & possessive pronouns + possessive adjectives

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