Gerund

The gerund is a verb form that works like a noun. It looks like a normal verb + -ing:
to cook (infinitive) cooking (gerund).

Form

To form a gerund, you add the ending "-ing" to the infinitive form of any main verb:
gerund = infinitive (without to) + "-ing"
Here are a few examples:
   
 
   
 
 
Gerund
 
to go
 
going
 
to walk
 
walking
 
to swim
 
swimming
 
to sing
 
singing
 
to write
 
writing
 
 
 

Use

Gerunds can be used either as subjects or objects (like nouns) or after a preposition.
Used as a subject, it looks like this:
Cooking can take a lot of time.
If it is in the position of an object, it looks like this:
I enjoy cooking.
And if it comes after a preposition, it looks like this:
I have learned a lot about health through cooking.
In the following, you will find a list with several examples of each type.
Function: Subject
  • Running is a hard sport.
  • Sunbathing is not very good for your skin.
  • Riding a bike is better for the environment than driving a car.
  • Watching too much TV is not good for children.
Function: Object
  • Tina enjoys working at her new job.
  • Have you ever considered moving to the United States?
  • Lara has finished reading her book.
  • Andrew misses going out with his friends in England.
After a Preposition
  • I am interested in learning more foreign languages.
  • Janice is proud of being a good sportswoman.
  • Mark is really good at cooking.
  • Albert Einstein is famous for being very clever.
Now it's time you do some work! Read through the text below. Mark the gerunds yellow and normal progressive forms orange!
 
en
 
  • Finding new friends can be difficult if you don't know anybody.
  • Lisa likes walking through the streets on her own.
  • I was sitting in the kitchen, when suddenly Mark came in.
  • This flower is in danger of dying if you do not give it some water.
  • Listening to music is one of my favourite occupations.
  • Peter has improved his grades by studying hard.
  • Lucas could not stop laughing.
  • I don't think that skipping school is a good idea.
 
 
 
In the next exercise you have to fill in the gaps by putting the words in brackets into their gerund form!
 
en
  1. has always been Mary's favourite sport. (to dance)
     
  2. I am really sorry for your earrings. (to lose)
     
  3. Frances said that there was absolutely no reason for angry. (to be)
     
  4. My dad hates at the doctor's. (to wait)
     
  5. I am afraid of alone at night. (to go out)
     
  6. Alfred avoids Ralph whenever he can. (to meet)
     
  7. My grandma is really clever at new games for children. (to invent)
     
  8. Mia is already very excited about to the movies tonight. (to go)
     
  9. Can you imagine in a foreign country? (to live)
     
 
 
 

Learn more ...