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Gerund Rules - English Reading Material

Gerund looks exactly the same as a present participle, and for this reason it is now common to call both forms 'the -ing form'. However it is useful to understand the difference between the two. The gerund always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb), so it can be used:

Rule1 : As the subject of the sentence:
  • Eating people is wrong.
  • Hunting tigers is dangerous.
  • Flying makes me nervous.
Rule 2: As the complement of the verb 'to be':
  • One of his duties is attending meetings.
  • The hardest thing about learning English is understanding the gerund.
  • One of life's pleasures is having breakfast in bed.
Rule 3: After prepositions. The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition:
  • Can you sneeze without opening your mouth?
  • She is good at painting.
  • They're keen on windsurfing.
  • She avoided him by walking on the opposite side of the road.
  • We arrived in Madrid after driving all night.
  • My father decided against postponing his trip to Hungary.
Note :  This is also true of certain expressions ending in a preposition, e.g. in spite of, there's no point in..:
  • There's no point in waiting.
  • In spite of missing the train, we arrived on time.
Rule4: After a number of 'phrasal verbs' which are composed of a verb + preposition/adverb
Example: to look forward to, to give up, to be for/against, to take to, to put off, to keep on:
  • I look forward to hearing from you soon. (at the end of a letter)
  • When are you going to give up smoking?
  • She always puts off going to the dentist.
  • He kept on asking for money.
NOTE: There are some phrasal verbs and other expressions that include the word 'to' as a preposition, not as part of a to-infinitive: - to look forward to, to take to, to be accustomed to, to be used to. It is important to recognise that 'to' is a preposition in these cases, as it must be followed by a gerund:
  • We are looking forward to seeing you.
  • I am used to waiting for buses.
  • She didn't really take to studying English.
Note : It is possible to check whether 'to  is a preposition or part of a to-infinitive: if you can put a noun or the pronoun 'it' after it, then it is a preposition and must be followed by a gerund:
  • I am accustomed to it (the cold).
  • I am accustomed to being cold.
Rule5 :  In compound nouns
Example:
a driving lesson, a swimming pool, bird-watching, train-spotting
It is clear that the meaning is that of a noun, not of a continuous verb.

Example:
the pool is not swimming, it is a pool for swimming in.

Rule6 :  After the expressions:
can't help, can't stand, it's no use/good, and the adjective worth:
  • She couldn't help falling in love with him.
  • I can't stand being stuck in traffic jams.
  • It's no use/good trying to escape.
  • It might be worth phoning the station to check the time of the train. 
Gerund Rules - English Reading Material Gerund Rules - English Reading Material Reviewed by Job today on 16:43 Rating: 5

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