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It can be difficult to know when you can use a gerund, a Bare infinitive or ‘to’ + infinitive, and whether or not it is correct. A gerund is an -ing ending. eg: running, enjoying, playing etc. There are three rules as to when you need to use the gerund (verb + ing):

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

Let’s further elaborate on the three rules so we can know when to insert the gerund correctly:

  • (1) The gerund is used after specific verbs that usually always take the gerund form. These verbs take the gerund form:
Fancy She fancies leaving early.
Discuss I’ve discussed going on vacation with her.
Avoid Mary usually avoids partying.
Keep I keep insisting to her.
Recommend Harry recommends getting a head-start.
Suggest Joseph had suggested travelling to Paris.
Mind I don’t mind getting dirty.
Dislike She really dislikes smoking.
Enjoy Let’s enjoy spending out time together.
Finish I’ll finish running through your work.
Risk Don’t risk losing your job.
Can’t help Harry can’t help cheating.
Can’t stand Maria can’t stand getting up early.
Appreciate Samuel appreciates being able to come.
Practise I will have been practising swimming for two years by tomorrow.
Postpone Please don’t postpone meeting the venture capitalist.
Miss She was missing studying.
Delay They delayed flying.
Consider I shall consider coming tonight.
Involve My education involves learning lots about geography.
Deny The accused denied stealing.
Complete They will complete training in thirty minutes.
Understand I understand living here is difficult.
Tolerate The courts won’t tolerate shouting.
Mention I think he mentioned leaving at around 20:00h.
Imagine Last night she imagined arriving late.
Recall The man recalled saving the guy’s life.
Report The journalist reported interviewing the chief in stuff.
Anticipate You must anticipate arriving at that time.
Before Before arriving, please take your shoes off.
Of I received a lot of complaining.
By By discovering the new properties we were able to go ahead.
Until Not until writing my book did I know.
For For smoking in the hallway you will be punished.
Through I’ll go through with taking the choice.
Under Under ‘pressing the button’.
Over I’ll speak to her over handling the situation properly.
Aside from Aside from not knowing the problem she hadn’t met anyone previously.
Pursuant to The clause states that pursuant to finalising the deal, we must…
According to Well, according to him, opening the account there isn’t a good idea.
Upon Upon arriving to New York we suddenly got lost.
Amid We were amid making some very serious decisions.
Without Don’t speak to him without consulting me first.
Subject Smoking is an unhealthy habit.
Object I liked your taking part in the activity.
Subject Imagining things instead of telling the truth isn’t a good idea.
Object I let him know that understanding the issue is vital.
Subject Getting out of this city is my main priority.
Object You mustn’t tell Ann over my leaving late today.
Subject Telling lies is not a good idea.
Object Explain to her about my telling off.
Subject Jumping is fun.


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