English Gerund

English GerundGerund as English verbal noun. How it differs from infinitive and present participle.

Gerund is verbal noun ending in -ing. It describes activity without indicating time sequence.

Working overtime requires great sacrifice.

We enjoyed seeing you last weekend.

Gerundial Forms

Gerund doing
Perfect Gerund having  done
Passive Gerund being done
Perfect Passive Gerund having been done

Perfect gerund is usually simplified to its simple form.

She admitted stealing the money.

The more complex a gerund, the rarer it’s used.

I don’t mind being kept waiting.

Gerundial Verbs

enjoy, mind, suggest, finish, delay, postpone, fancy, imagine, consider, avoid, admit, deny, miss, risk, involve, practice, stand,

give up, put off, carry on, keep (on), succeed in, insist on, think of, dream of, approve of, decide against, feel like, talk about, apologize for, congratulate on, accuse of, suspect of, prevent from, stop from, thank for, forgive for, warn against

Some verbs require gerund and infinitive interchangeably. Unlike infinitive, gerund usually denotes finished/ongoing actions.

be, remember, forget, try, regret, stop, go on, like, dislike, love, hate, prefer, begin, start, continue, advise, allow, encourage, forbid, recommend, need

Gerundial Phrases

  • (no) use/good + gerund

It’s no use worrying about it.

  • (no) point in + gerund

There’s no point in having a car if you never use it.

  • worth + gerund

I don’t think newspapers are worth reading.

Unlike present participle, gerund may be qualified by determiners (articles, demonstratives, postpositions and quantifiers).

(You/Your) walking in the rain didn’t cause your cold.

The bombing of civilians horrified everyone.

You should stop working so hard.

Gerund may take objects.

I enjoy reading new books.

Gerund forms complex objects with future meaning.

I hope you don’t mind his/him coming here.

Negative gerund is preceded by not.

It’s nice not being at work.

Postpositional Gerund

  • preposition + gerund

After reading the letter, he changed his mind.

  • adjective/noun + postposition + gerund

Are you interested in applying for this job?

  • verb + postposition + gerund

They carried on working.

  • verb + (pro)noun + postposition + gerund

She accused me of cheating.

  • verb + postposition + object/possessive pronoun / noun + gerund

What about my coming to see you tomorrow?

Postpositional object pronouns are formal.

They agreed on us sharing the expenses.

To is sometimes a postposition (not particle) after some verbs especially look forward, prefer.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this weekend.

Gerundial Functions

  • subject

Smoking is bad for you.

  • object

Do you like cooking?

  • predicative

His favorite activity is watching TV.