A gerund is a verb form that ends in “-ing” and has the force of both a noun and a verb, referring to it as a “double part of speech.”
However, a gerund functions in a sentence as a noun, specifically as a subject, object, or complement.
Use of a Gerund
Use 1 – Gerunds can be used as the subject of a verb:
- Dancing is a great way to stay active.
- Smoking is injurious to health.
- Singing is her passion.
- Dancing is an excellent form of aerobic exercise.
- Gardening is a hobby that can provide both physical and mental benefits.
Here, each sentence starts with a gerund (a verb ending in -ing), which serves as the subject of the sentence.
Use 2 – They can also be used as the object of a verb:
- She practised playing the piano for hours every day.
- I avoid eating fast food because it’s not good for my health.
- We discussed going on a trip together next summer.
- The children love watching cartoons on Saturday mornings.
- He finished reading the novel in just 7 days.
In each sentence, the gerund (a verb ending in -ing) serves as the direct object of the verb.
Use 3 – They can serve as the complement of a verb:
- My favourite activity is reading.
- Her biggest talent is singing.
- His only desire is travelling.
- The key to success is practising.
- His constant habit is walking.
In each sentence, the gerund (a verb ending in -ing) serves as the complement of the verb “is.”
Use 4 – They can also function as the object of a preposition:
- She’s afraid of flying in aeroplanes.
- He’s good at fixing cars.
- I am interested in reading books on history.
- They are good at playing tennis.
- She is afraid of flying in aeroplanes.
In each sentence, the gerund (a verb ending in -ing) follows a preposition (“of,” “at,” or “in” in these examples) and serves as the object of the preposition.
Use 5 – They can take an object themselves:
- She loves reading mystery novels.
- He can’t stand hearing loud noises.
- They regret not taking more time to enjoy their vacation.
- I remember seeing that movie when it first came out.
- She likes reading stories.
In each sentence, the gerund (a verb ending in -ing) is the main verb of the sentence and takes an object.
Use 6 – After the preposition “to,” the gerund form should be used:
- She’s looking forward to seeing her friends again.
- I’m not used to waking up early in the morning.
- He’s committed to achieving his goals.
- They’re opposed to raising taxes on middle-class families.
- We’re dedicated to providing excellent customer service.
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