To spot gerunds in sentences, just look for a verb + -ING that is used as a noun. Present participles in English also end with -ING, but present participles do not act as nouns. Instead, they act as modifiers or complete progressive verbs.
Add -ING to most verbs:
To study – studying
To keep – keeping
For verbs that end in a single, silent "E", drop the "E" and add -ING.
To give - giving
To come - coming
But "EE" at the end of the word is not changed:
To agree - agreeing
For verbs that end in "IE", change the "IE" to "Y" and add -ING:
To die - dying
To lie - lying
The final consonant after a short, stressed vowel is doubled before adding -ING.
To get - getting
To refer - referring
The letter "L" as final consonant after a vowel is always doubled before -ING:
To cancel - cancelling
To travel - travelling
We use gerunds (verb + ing):
1. Some verb phrases (verb + preposition) are followed by a gerund:
|To accuse of||Please don't accuse me of forgetting to lock the door|
|To be afraid of||She was afraid of upsetting her parents|
|To be capable (incapable) of||With the battery removed, the car was incapable of being driven|
|To be disappointed at||Met Office disappointed at losing BBC weather forecasting contract|
|To be engaged in||Despite her illness, she remains engaged in working for charity|
|To be fond of||I’m fond of travelling|
|To be interested in||He's interested in buying a car|
|To be proud of||I’m proud of being your daughter|
|To be responsible for||Her department is responsible for overseeing the councils|
|To be surprised at||I was surprised at him doing it|
|To consist in||His work as a consultant consists in advising foreign companies|
|To count on/upon||I was counting on getting a raise when I made the decision to purchase a house|
|To depend on/upon||Choosing the right account depends on working out your likely average balance|
|To get used to||
I am getting used to speaking Japanese
|To hear of||Anyone ever heard of this being done?|
|To insist on||I don't know why you insist on talking about it|
|To object to||I really object to being charged for parking|
|To persist in||John persists in thinking that he's always right|
|To prevent from||Rubber seals are fitted to prevent gas from escaping|
|To result in||Icy conditions resulted in two roads being closed|
|To succeed in||Very few people succeed in losing weight|
|To suspect of||Ted was suspected of leaving the door unlocked when he left last Friday|
|To think of||He was thinking of becoming a zoologist|
|To worry about||When I go out I always worry about losing my keys|
2. Some verbs are directly followed by a gerund:
|Admit||He is unwilling to admit being jealous of his brother|
|Adore||Don't you just adore lying in a hot bath?|
|Advise||I advise selling your old car|
|Appreciate||I appreciate your making the effort to come|
|Avoid||I try to avoid going shopping on Saturdays|
|Busy||She's busy writing out the wedding invitations|
|Can’t stand/help||Can't help falling in love|
|Complete||He's just completed filming his 1st film|
|Consider||We're considering selling the house|
|Contemplate||I'm contemplating going abroad for a year|
|Delay||I think we should delay deciding about this until next year|
|Deny||He denies breaking the window|
|Detest||I detest having to get up when it’s dark outside|
|Dread||I'm dreading having to meet his parents|
|Enjoy||I enjoy meeting people and seeing new places|
|Escape||How to escape going to school?|
|Excuse||Excuse my interrupting you|
|Envisage||When do you envisage finishing the project?|
|Fancy||I didn't fancy swimming in that water|
|Feel like||I feel like going for a swim|
|Finish||Have you finished reading that magazine?|
|Imagine||Imagine spending all that money on a coat!|
|Justify||The fact that we are at war does not justify treating innocent people as criminals|
|Keep||He keeps trying to distract me|
|Mind/don’t mind||Do you have a boyfriend, if you don't mind me asking?|
|Miss||I only just missed being run over by a bus this morning|
|Permit||The prison authorities permit visiting only once a month|
|Postpone||We've had to postpone going to France because the children are ill|
|Practise||His written French is very good but he needs to practise speaking it|
|Put off||All this rain really puts you off going out after work|
||I'm going to quit smoking|
|Recall||A place I recall visiting when I was young|
|Report||Spies reported seeing a build-up of soldiers|
|Resent||He resents having to explain his work to other people|
|Resist||She couldn’t resist asking him about his date|
|Resume||He stopped to take a sip of water and then resumed speaking|
|Risk||He risked losing his house when his company went bankrupt|
|Suggest||I suggested putting the matter to the committee|
|Tolerate||He won’t tolerate anyone questioning his decisions|
|Worth||It's worth trying|
3. Gerunds can serve as an object after a noun and a preposition:
|Apology (for)||Please accept my apology for being so late|
|Art (of)||The art of baking|
|Astonishment (at)||He could not conceal his astonishment at seeing them together|
|Chance (of)||There is no chance of seeing him till Monday|
|Disappointment (at)||The disappointment of doing something amazing while no one was watching|
|Experience (in)||How was your experience in doing a research project?|
||Fear of flying is a fear of being on an airplane|
|Habit (of)||To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life|
|Idea (of)||She has an idea of becoming an engineer|
|Importance (of)||The Importance of Being Earnest|
|Intention (of)||I have no intention of going to the wedding|
|Interest (in)||Interest in becoming a police officer|
|Method (of)||Principles and methods of teaching|
|Necessity (of)||The necessity of learning English cannot be overstated|
|Objection (to)||Do you have any objections to working overtime if necessary?|
||The reason I would like to study in Britain is to have the opportunity of working for Dyson|
|Plan (for)||I have worked out a plan for making a lot of money|
|Pleasure (of)||I'd travel a thousand miles just for the pleasure of meeting you|
|Possibility (of)||He talked about the possibility of getting married|
|Preparation (for)||Preparations for opening of the new school|
|Problem (of)||They discussed the problem of bullying in schools|
|Process (of)||The process of obtaining a driver's license|
|Reason (for)||One of his reasons for coming to England was to make money|
|Surprise (at)||They couldn't conceal their surprise at seeing us together|
|Way (of)||A way of doing things|
4. Gerunds can appear at the beginning of a sentence when used as a subject or act as an object following the verb:
Swimming is pleasant.
My greatest pleasure is travelling.
He enjoyed sitting in the sun.
5. Some verbs can be followed either by a gerund or by an infinitive and there is little or no difference in meaning between the two:
|To allow||You're not allowed talking/to talk during the exam|
|To attempt||He attempted escaping/to escape through a window|
|To begin||Jane has just begun learning/to learn to drive|
|To bother||You'd have found it if you'd bothered looking/to look|
He will cease being/to be prime minister
|To intend||We intend to go. They intend going|
|To permit||Weather that permits sailing/you are permitted to smoke|
|To recommend||I recommend visiting Paris/I recommend that you visit Paris|
|To start||They started building/to build the house in January|
The verbs hate, like/dislike, love, prefer are followed by gerunds if we are talking about general situations:
I like going to the cinema. (I always enjoy it)
I hate ironing. (I always hate it)
The verbs hate, like/dislike, love, prefer are followed by infinitives if we are talking about particular situation:
I hate to play tennis on Sunday mornings.
I like to swim in the mornings.
Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or infinitive but with a change in meaning:
+ gerund = remember something you did before
I remember locking the door.
+ infinitive = remember something and then do it
I remembered to buy bread.
+ gerund = forget something you did before (opposite of Rememeber + gerund)
I forget locking the door.
+ infinitive = forget to do something (opposite of Remember + infinitive)
Don't forget to buy bread.
+ gerund = I made an experiment
It was too hot in the room. I tried opening the window.
+ infinitive = I made an attempt
I tried to open the window, but I couldn't because it was stuck.
+gerund = to not do something any more
I stopped working for this company.
+ infinitive = to not do something in order to do something else
I stopped to have a break.
Regret (I'm sorry)
+gerund = I apologize for a previuous action
I regret telling my friend my biggest secret.
+ infinitive = I apologize for something that will happen
I regret to inform you that you have not been selected for interview.
+ gerund = we want to say that a previous activity continues
After dinner he went on showing us his photos.
+ infinitive = we want to describe an activity that follows a previous action and is somehow connected to
He gave us a lecture on the Greek history. And then he went on to show us his photos from Greece.