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Posts Tagged ‘gerunds’


Gerunds are nominal forms of verbs (i.e. forms of verbs that act as nouns) that end in “ing”. They are used to indicate action or state of being.

Gerunds often appear as subjects:

  • Flying is frightening.
  • Walking quickly to the store was out of the question, so we drove.
  • Spending time with friends is as important as studying.

Note, in the first example, that “flying” is a gerund, while “frightening” is an adjective. In the second example, note that gerunds may be modified by adverbs.

Gerunds may also appear as direct objects:

  • Gerald likes driving.
  • Susan faked sleeping when her mother entered the room.
  • John enjoys running marathons.

In each of these cases, the gerund is the direct object of the verb that precedes it.

Gerunds may be the objects of prepositions:

  • From sailing, to waterskiing, to wakeboarding, to tubing, John tried and loved all water sports.
  • Carol thanked Stan for stepping in when she couldn’t make it to the meeting.
  • After months of negotiating, the parties reached an agreement.

They may be subject complements, too:

  • The fire is burning brightly.
  • The clock is running slow.

Note that in each case, “ing” implies the continuity or progression of action (“running”, “burning”).