Gerunds for intermediate learners

Gerunds are words derived from verbs that act as nouns. All gerunds include a verb and -ing. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.

Gerunds in the English Grammar

What Are Gerunds?

Gerunds are nouns that are made up of a verb + '-ing'.

Functions

Gerunds can serve different functions in sentences. The list below presents some of their functions:

Now, let us discuss some of them in more detail.

Gerunds as the Subject

Gerunds are commonly used as the subject of the verb. Study the following examples carefully:

Singing has always been my passion.

Crying is her greatest weakness.

Gerunds as the Object

Gerunds can also serve as the object of the verb. Take a look at the following examples:

Do you think she enjoys writing?

Anna hates exercising.

Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions

Gerunds can also appear after prepositions and function as objects of prepositions. Check out the following examples:

I'm not afraid of jumping.

She is really skilled at convincing my dad.

Spelling Rules

Sometimes the spellings of verbs undergo changes when forming gerunds. Let us learn more about them below:

  • If the verb ends in '-ie', change it to '-y' before adding '-ing':

Die → dying

Lie → lying

  • If the verb ends in '-e', remove it and then add the '-ing':

Strike → striking

Take → taking

Gerunds Vs. Present Participles

Although gerunds and present Participles look the same, they have different functions. Present Participles are used as verbs or adjectives while gerunds function as nouns. Compare the following examples:

Going on a trip to the country is one of my favorite hobbies.

Here, the highlighted phrase is a gerund because it is functioning as a noun.

I'm eating lunch.

As you can see, the highlighted word is a present participle and is functioning as a verb.

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