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


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:
to go
to walk
to swim
to sing
to write


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!
  • I was sitting in the kitchen, when suddenly Mark came in.
  • Lucas could not stop laughing.
  • I don't think that skipping school is a good idea.
  • Lisa likes walking through the streets on her own.
  • 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.
  • Finding new friends can be difficult if you don't know anybody.
In the next exercise you have to fill in the gaps by putting the words in brackets into their gerund form!
  1. My dad hates at the doctor's. (to wait)
  2. Can you imagine in a foreign country? (to live)
  3. I am afraid of alone at night. (to go out)
  4. Mia is already very excited about to the movies tonight. (to go)
  5. My grandma is really clever at new games for children. (to invent)
  6. has always been Mary's favourite sport. (to dance)
  7. Alfred avoids Ralph whenever he can. (to meet)
  8. I am really sorry for your earrings. (to lose)
  9. Frances said that there was absolutely no reason for angry. (to be)

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