A gerund is a verbal noun, which is a form of verb that always ends in –ing and functions as a noun.
Example: It seems none of them likes my singing. (The word singing is a gerund.)
A gerund often follows a verb, and a preposition does not come between the gerund and the verb.
- They discussed getting married. (Not: They discussed to getting married.)
- I like walking in the rain.
- The dog stopped barking when I gave it a bone.
- He has just finished quarrelling with his wife.
- The prince has consistently denied murdering his wife.
When a gerund forms part of a phrase, it is called a gerund phrase. A gerund phrase may also include modifiers and complements.
- Weekend coastal sailing has always been his passion.
(The gerund phrase is weekend coastal sailing.)
- The big fat fellow with a bushy beard enjoys doing magic at children's parties.
(The gerund phrase is doing magic at children's parties.)
Gerund used in gerund phrase as subject of a sentence.
- Washing his car is something he hates most.
- Watching television to him is not a waste of time.
- Attending church is not something the family does often.
- Smoking gives him enormous pleasure.
- Working in a foreign country can be very exciting.
- Learning a foreign language can be a real challenge.
- Skipping to her is a better alternative to jogging.
Gerund used as an object in a sentence.
- She prefers any of the household chores to mopping..
- Both husband and wife like cooking.
- Her everyday exercise includes deep breathing.
Gerund comes after a preposition.
- He is addicted to playing online games.
- His parents were well accustomed to working hard..
- She is very excited about meeting him for the first time.
- Jane is very pleased with getting the desired exam results.
- Many remember them for winning the first gold medal for the country..
- We apologized for arriving late.
- John has become interested in catching scorpions for fun.
- Jack looks forward to running his own loan shark business.
Gerund comes after conjunctions.
- Mr Black usually says a prayer for world peace before going to bed.
- Mrs White still looks quite scared after watching two crocodiles fight in her dream last night.
- I have learned to be careful since knocking my head against a tree branch,
Gerund follows an adjective.
- The new stadium has got poor lighting.
- He received a severe scolding from his parents for unknown reasons.
- The cold-blooded killing was carried by plunging a knife deep into the victim’s heart.
Gerund may modify a noun that follows it.
- The sitting room is where the mess is.
- It is so much fun to be lying at the swimming pool.
- Someone took all my gardening tools from my garden.
- One of the folding legs of the ironing board is broken.
- Although he is 100 years old, he moves about without the aid of a walking stick.
- He had a frightening dream about a fire-breathing dragon chasing him.
Gerund can be plural countable nouns.
- Airport authority has issued several warnings about pickpocket.
- Last month, the local vicar conducted ten weddings.
- The boy showed me his three drawings of ugly witches riding African elephants.
We can use ‘be used to’ / ‘get used to’ with gerund.
- I was used to watching vultures perched on top of rocky cliffs.
- Sarah is used to donating her blood at the medical centre.
- After his wife died, he had to get used to looking after the kids on his own.
Gerund in a negative statement.
To make a gerund negative, just add the negative word not before the gerund.
- He says not learning is the best thing in his life..
- By not singing loudly in the shower, he made the other housemates very happy.
- His bad habit is not answering the phone when it rings.
- Not marrying him sometimes crossed her mind.
Phrasal verb + gerund
A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a preposition which together have its own meaning (e.g. cut down = to reduce the amount of something). The following examples show the phrasal verbs and gerunds in bold.
- Julia carried on talking even though no one was listening. (Phrasal verb: carried on)
- Jack keeps on scratching his head and we wonder why.
- Jan gave up driving after her car was hit by a truck.
- He does not know when he will get around to doing the living room.
- We stayed up late watching the horror movie last night.
Gerund used in other expressions.
- It is no use crying over spilt milk.
- This new gadget is for opening canned food more quickly.
- We usually go fishing where there are big fish.
- Using an old iron to do ironing makes it slow.
- It’s too late now to regret being so rude to her.
- If only you had stopped talking and listened to your mother.
- If not for my tired legs, we could have gone on dancing the whole night..
- She prefers having dinner with her pet dogs.
- She thinks my hair needs shampooing, not knowing that I shampoo every day.