1. The Verb + -ing used as a Noun or Gerund
Gerund is the –ing form of a verb, and is used in the same ways as a noun. It is used as a subject or as an object in a sentence. It can also be used as a subject and an object within the same sentence, as follow:
a) Washing his car is the only thing he does almost every Sunday.
b) She prefers any of the household chores to mopping.
c) Skipping to him is a better alternative to jogging.
The gerunds in the above sentences (washing, mopping, skipping, and jogging) are –ing forms of the verbs: wash, mop, skip and jog.
In (a), washing is the noun acting as the subject in the sentence.
In (b), mopping is the object in the sentence (the object of the preposition to.)
In (c), the two gerunds – skipping and jogging – act as subject and object of the same sentence.
a) Using Gerund as Subjects or Objects
Watching television is a waste of time.
Attending church regularly is important.
Smoking is very bad for you.
Working in a foreign country can be very difficult.
Learning a foreign language can be a real challenge.
My sister does not like cooking.
Every morning she goes jogging.
b) Verb + gerund
EXAMPLE: They discussed getting married. (NOT: They discussed to getting married.)
I like walking in the rain. (Verb like followed by gerund walking)
She enjoys playing with her puppies.
The dog stopped barking when I gave it a bone.
He has just finished painting the room.
Neil has consistently denied murdering his estranged wife.
I was used to watching birds on the hill side, but I never have the time now.
Sarah is used to donating her blood at the medical centre.
After his wife died, he had to get used to looking after the kids on his own.
I am frustrated not having enough money to buy her a birthday present.
c) Phrasal Verbs + Gerund
EXAMPLE: cut down = to reduce the amount of something.
The following phrasal verbs + gerund are in bold.
Julia carried on talking even though no one was listening. (Phrasal verb: carried on)
Jack keeps on scratching his head and we wonder why. (Phrasal verb: keeps on)
Jill gave up smoking last year.
He doesn't know when he'll get around to doing the roof repair.
We stayed up watching the movie late last night.
d) Prepositions + Gerund
Prepositions + gerund are in bold as follow:
He is addicted to playing online games.
His parents were well accustomed to working hard.
She is very excited about meeting him for the first time.
Julia is very pleased with getting the desired exam results.
He will always be remembered for winning the first gold medal for the country.
We apologized for arriving late.
Jill has become interested in catching butterflies for fun.
Jack looks forward to running his own business.
Mr. Black usually says a prayer for good luck before going to bed.
Mrs. White felt quite scared after watching two crocodiles fight.
I have learned to be careful since knocking my head against the wall.
e) Gerund used in other expressions
It's no use crying over spilt milk.
This new gadget is for opening tinned food.
Where do you usually go for fishing?
One thing I hate most is ironing my clothes.
Now you regret being so rude to her.
If only you had stopped talking and listened to her.
We could go on dancing all night.
She prefers having dinner at home to eating outside.
I think your hair needs shampooing.
f) Gerund used in compound nouns
The old man moves about with the help of a walking-stick.
She cleans the sitting-room almost every week.
The swimming-pool was most crowded at weekends.
2. The Verb + -ing used as the Present Participle
a) The present participle is the verb + –ing. It is used:
1. as the present continuous tense of the verb.
EXAMPLE: It is raining at the moment. / The dog is barking at the clown.
2. after an action verb.
EXAMPLE: He went fishing with his father. / They played catching the ball on the beach.
3. after the verb and object , that is verb + object + present participle.
EXAMPLE: The detectives caught someone pickpocketing. / We saw a small dog chasing a cat.
Here, the verbs caught and saw are followed by the objects someone and dog, and then the present participles pickpocketing and chasing. The use of present participle indicates the action was still going on.
4. to show two actions are done by the same person and are happening at the same time.
EXAMPLE: Walking to the gate, he turned to wave to his neighbour.
b) Verb + preposition + –ing form
I had to apologize for stepping on her toes.
Her main aim now is to concentrate on passing her exam.
We finally decided on holidaying in Hawaii.
Sometimes Jack and Jill think of going up the hill.
The gang of youth was arrested for fighting in the street.
c) Linking word + –ing form
Mr. Wood went to play golf in spite of feeling unwell.
Although joining the company only a year ago, she's already been promoted twice.
Johnny has not been seen for a year since leaving home.
He never fails to turn off the light when leaving his room.
She is paid well for cleaning the office.
We always have hot drinks after swimming.
d) Using verbs and verbs + –ing form
We can use either the simple form of the verb or the –ing form of a verb. There is very little difference in meaning between the two forms.
a) I saw Jack walkt along the river.
b) I saw Jack walking along the river.
c) I heard Jill sing in the bathroom.
d) I heard Jill singing in the bathroom.
There is no difference in meaning between (a) and (b), and (c) and (d). The –ing form of a verb is better used with while.
EXAMPLE: I saw Jack while he was walking along the river.
The use of while indicates an action is still going on. "I heard Jill while she was singing in the bathroom" means the singing was still going on when I heard it.
3. The Verb + -ing used as an Adjective
a) The adjective using verb + –ing is usually placed before the noun it modifies.
Some nations are experiencing a dwindling population due to very low birth rate.
There are people who doubt the disappearing rain forest contributes to global warming.
b) The verb + –ing form can be used after possessive adjectives.
We do really appreciate your helping to get all this work done.
I will not tolerate his behaving in that manner again.
She said she doesn't mind our going over to her place for a drink.