A gerund is a verbal noun, which is a form of verb that always ends in –ing and functions as a noun.
Example: It seems none of them likes my singing. (The word singing is a gerund.)
A gerund often follows a verb, and a preposition does not come between the gerund and the verb.
They discussed getting married. (Not: They discussed to getting married.)
I like walking in the rain.
The dog stopped barking when I gave it a bone.
He has just finished quarrelling with his wife.
The prince has consistently denied murdering his wife.
When a gerund forms part of a phrase, it is called a gerund phrase. A gerund phrase may also include modifiers and complements.
Weekend coastal sailing has always been his passion.
(The gerund phrase is weekend coastal sailing.)
The big fat fellow with a bushy beard enjoys doing magic at children’s parties.
(The gerund phrase is doing magic at children’s parties.)
Gerund used in gerund phrase as subject of a sentence.
Washing his car is something he hates most.
Watching television to him is not a waste of time.
Attending church is not something the family does often.
Smoking gives him enormous pleasure.
Working in a foreign country can be very exciting.
Learning a foreign language can be a real challenge.
Skipping to her is a better alternative to jogging.
Gerund used as an object in a sentence.
She prefers any of the household chores to mopping..
Both husband and wife like cooking.
Her everyday exercise includes deep breathing.
Gerund comes after a preposition.
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.
Jane is very pleased with getting the desired exam results.
Many remember them for winning the first gold medal for the country..
We apologized for arriving late.
John has become interested in catching scorpions for fun.
Jack looks forward to running his own loan shark business.
Gerund comes after conjunctions.
Mr Black usually says a prayer for world peace before going to bed.
Mrs White still looks quite scared after watching two crocodiles fight in her dream last night.
I have learned to be careful since knocking my head against a tree branch,
Gerund follows an adjective.
The new stadium has got poor lighting.
He received a severe scolding from his parents for unknown reasons.
The cold-blooded killing was carried by plunging a knife deep into the victim’s heart.
Gerund may modify a noun that follows it.
The sitting room is where the mess is.
It is so much fun to be lying at the swimming pool.
Someone took all my gardening tools from my garden.
One of the folding legs of the ironing board is broken.
Although he is 100 years old, he moves about without the aid of a walking stick.
He had a frightening dream about a fire-breathing dragon chasing him.
Gerund can be plural countable nouns.
Airport authority has issued several warnings about pickpocket.
Last month, the local vicar conducted ten weddings.
The boy showed me his three drawings of ugly witches riding African elephants.
We can use ‘be used to’ / ‘get used to’ with gerund.
I was used to watching vultures perched on top of rocky cliffs.
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.
Gerund in a negative statement.
He says not learning is the best thing in his life..
By not singing loudly in the shower, he made the other housemates very happy.
His bad habit is not answering the phone when it rings.
Not marrying him sometimes crossed her mind.
Phrasal verb + gerund
A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a preposition which together have its own meaning (e.g. cut down = to reduce the amount of something). The following examples show the phrasal verbs and gerunds 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.
Jan gave up driving after her car was hit by a truck.
He does not know when he will get around to doing the living room.
We stayed up late watching the horror movie last night.
Gerund used in other expressions.
It is no use crying over spilt milk.
This new gadget is for opening canned food more quickly.
We usually go fishing where there are big fish.
Using an old iron to do ironing makes it slow.
It’s too late now to regret being so rude to her.
If only you had stopped talking and listened to your mother.
If not for my tired legs, we could have gone on dancing the whole night..
She prefers having dinner with her pet dogs.
She thinks my hair needs shampooing, not knowing that I shampoo every day.