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Gerunds can be described as a special type of noun. They are made from verbs and can have an object. Many gerunds end in –ing.

Present Active                                           Present Passive
I like giving presents.                                  I like being given presents.
I hate waking up early.                                I hate being woken up early

Here are some common uses of the gerund:
As the subject of the verb:
Swimming is good for you.
Smoking is a terrible habit.
Taking part in competitive sports is character forming for young children.

As the object of the verb:
I love swimming.
He’s trying to stop smoking.
I prefer Yoga to jogging.

After a preposition:
Most people will disagree with introducing liberal drug laws.
I’m keen on playing the piano.
She’s interested in acting.

Other phrases used with gerunds:
Spices are used for adding taste to food.
It’s no good complaining about the heat.
It’s useless trying to argue with him.

Please excuse my/me arriving late.

Some verbs are followed by a gerund:
Would you mind/Do you mind waiting for a few minutes?
We are looking forward to meeting your fiancée.
My mum is used to cooking for a large number of people.

Here are some verbs often followed by a gerund:
Admit – avoid – burst out – consider – delay – deny – detest – dislike – enjoy – finish – give up – can’t help – imagine – keep on – postpone – practise – prevent – put off – recommend – can’t stand – stop

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

  • 1. Would you mind _ this letter to Susan?

  • 2. I can’t understand why Sarah is avoiding _ to us.

  • 3. Mary has gone to a business school _ marketing and international relations.

  • 4. Anne’s just not used _ high heels.

  • 5. Mr Brown has no intention of _ us.

  • 6. Mr Brown does not intend _ us.

  • 7. I hope this advice will help you _ any mistakes.

  • 8. The new Bond film is really worth _.