Concept of Gerunds:
Gerunds are an important grammar form to understand and to be able to use effectively in the IELTS test and in your English more generally.
you should avoid using gerunds until you have studied and practiced them, otherwise you may make mistakes.
Gerunds are words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns. They’re very easy to spot, since every gerund is a verb with “ing” tacked to its tail. There are no exceptions to this rule.
As you read these examples of gerunds, notice the verbs they contain, and notice that every single one of them ends in ing. By the end of this quick lesson, you’ll have no problem recognizing gerunds when you see them.
1. Swimming in the ocean has been Sharon’s passion since she was five years old.
2. Let’s go dancing at the club tonight.
3. I’ve been dreaming of summer all winter long.
4. Holly decided that flying above the clouds was the most incredible experience she’d ever had.
5. Bill avoided doing his math assignment because the World Series was on.
Examples of gerunds or gerund phrases used as the subject:
- Singing is one of my hobbies.
- Running is good exercise.
- Watching television does not burn many calories.
Examples of gerunds or gerund phrases used as direct objects:
- I enjoy cooking with my mom.
- Mark likes playing on the team.
- The teacher appreciated my trying the math problem.
Examples of gerunds or gerund phrases used as objects of the preposition.
- Leslie got into trouble for talking to Sarah.
- Have you ever read a book about riding a bike?
- Upon finding a piece of glass on the floor, Jan called the teacher.
Examples of gerunds or gerund phrases used as predicate nouns.
- A good career for me might be nursing.
- My favorite pastime is reading books.
- The most fun I had on the trip was swimming in the ocean.
washing, dancing, loving, walking, writing, preparing ,labeling, listening, publishing, revealing, damaging, dividing, adding, solving, eating, searching, whispering, taking, giving, brushing, rubbing, multiplying, subtracting, teaching, trying, saving, typing, watching, turning, calling, receiving, drinking, cooking, making, playing, running, arresting, reading,
Here are examples of the words before and after they are changed:
- Walking is a good form of exercise
- Eating bananas, apples and oranges everyday is good for you.
- Walking and swimming are both good forms of exercise.
- Not exercising regularly is dangerous for your health.
- Some people like swimming to keep fit.
- A good way to improve your English is watching American TV series.
- Watching American TV series is a good way to improve your English.
- Another method of learning English is to read lots of fiction books.
- If you wish to put two verbs together, then the second verb will need to be a gerund and / or infinitive.
For example, you can’t say this:
- We always finish eat very late. (Incorrect)
- We always finish to eat very late. (incorrect)
If “finish” is followed by another verb, it needs to be a gerund.
- We always finish eating very late. (correct)
There is no grammatical reason for this as such, so you just need to learn the verbs and practice writing some sentences with those verbs.
Remember, certain verbs should be followed by an infinitive, not a gerund, and some verbs can be followed by either. For example:
I like to swim (verb + infinitive)
I like swimming (verb + gerund)
Go to the infinitives grammar lesson to learn more and the gerund and infinitive lesson to learn about verbs that take both.
Here is a list of verbs that are very commonly followed by a gerund (not an infinitive):
Verbs Commonly Followed By A Gerund
|Appreciate||I appreciate you taking the time out to see me.|
|Avoid||You should avoid drinking sugary drinks.|
|Consider||The government considered banning fox hunting.|
|Delay||I delayed paying the fine for speeding.|
|Deny||He denied committing the crime.|
|Discuss||We discussed sending the children to another school.|
|Dislike||Most people dislike getting up early.|
|enjoy||I enjoy having a day off.|
|finish||We always finish eating very late.|
|involve||My job involves moving around the country a lot.|
|miss||I miss seeing my family every day.|
|postpone||We postponed marrying until we had the money.|
|practice||He practiced hitting the ball against the wall.|
|quit||I will quit smoking next month.|
|recall||I can’t ever recall shouting at my children.|
|recommend||This book recommends studying for IELTS every day.|
|resent||I resent my manager firing me from my job.|
|risk||I wouldn’t risk taking IELTS before you are prepared.|
|stop||If you stop worrying, you will perform better.|
|suggest||She suggested studying in Australia.|
A Verb after a Preposition
If you place a verb after a preposition, the gerund form is used.
Here are some examples:
- I am interested in learning a new language.
- There are many advantages of taking a sabbatical from work.
- I passed my exams without trying too hard.
- I’m worried about sitting for the IELTS test.
- I got a band 7 by studying very hard.
- I was shocked upon hearing the news.
- I’m sorry for talking so loud.
The best way to learn these is to understand collocations – words that commonly go together.
For example, we always talk about being “interested in” something, or the “advantages of” something.
Talking about an activity
We also use them to talk about an activity with the word ‘go’.
I wanted to go jogging but my friend said he’d prefer to go swimming instead.
With reduced adverb clauses
They are also used to make reduced adverbial clauses. Below are some examples.
However, there are various rules for reducing adverbial clauses so you should make sure you understand these rules before attempting them.
While I study, I listen to music.
Reduced: While studying, I listen to music
Before I went out, I turned the lights off.
Reduced: Before going out, I turned the lights off
I locked the doors after I got home.
Reduced: I locked the doors after getting home.
Because I was tired, I could not study any longer.
Reduced: Being tired, I could not study any longer.