Gerund is a word that is formed with a verb but act as a noun

To spot gerunds in sentences, just look for a verb + -ING that is used as a noun. Present participles in English also end with -ING, but present participles do not act as nouns. Instead, they act as modifiers or complete progressive verbs.

Spelling Tips:

Add -ING to most verbs:

To study – studying

To keep – keeping

For verbs that end in a single, silent "E", drop the "E" and add -ING.

To give - giving

To come - coming

But "EE" at the end of the word is not changed:

To agree - agreeing

For verbs that end in "IE", change the "IE" to "Y" and add -ING:

To die - dying

To lie - lying

The final consonant after a short, stressed vowel is doubled before adding -ING.

To get - getting

To refer - referring

The letter "L" as final consonant after a vowel is always doubled before -ING:

To cancel - cancelling

To travel - travelling


We use gerunds (verb + ing): 

1. Some verb phrases (verb + preposition) are followed by a gerund:

To accuse of Please don't accuse me of forgetting to lock the door
To be afraid of She was afraid of upsetting her parents
To be capable (incapable) of With the battery removed, the car was incapable of being driven
To be disappointed at Met Office disappointed at losing BBC weather forecasting contract
To be engaged in Despite her illness, she remains engaged in working for charity
To be fond of I’m fond of travelling
To be interested in He's interested in buying a car
To be proud of I’m proud of being your daughter
To be responsible for Her department is responsible for overseeing the councils
To be surprised at I was surprised at him doing it
To consist in His work as a consultant consists in advising foreign companies
To count on/upon I was counting on getting a raise when I made the decision to purchase a house
To depend on/upon Choosing the right account depends on working out your likely average balance
To get used to

I am getting used to speaking Japanese

To hear of Anyone ever heard of this being done?
To insist on I don't know why you insist on talking about it
To object to I really object to being charged for parking
To persist in  John persists in thinking that he's always right
To prevent from Rubber seals are fitted to prevent gas from escaping
To result in Icy conditions resulted in two roads being closed
To succeed in Very few people succeed in losing weight
To suspect of  Ted was suspected of leaving the door unlocked when he left last Friday
To think of He was thinking of becoming a zoologist
To worry about When I go out I always worry about losing my keys

2. Some verbs are directly followed by a gerund:

Admit He is unwilling to admit being jealous of his brother
Adore  Don't you just adore lying in a hot bath?
Advise I advise selling your old car
Appreciate I appreciate your making the effort to come
Avoid I try to avoid going shopping on Saturdays
Busy She's busy writing out the wedding invitations
Can’t stand/help Can't help falling in love
 Complete  He's just completed filming his 1st film
 Consider   We're considering selling the house
 Contemplate  I'm contemplating going abroad for a year
 Delay  I think we should delay deciding about this until next year
 Deny  He denies breaking the window
 Detest  I detest having to get up when it’s dark outside
 Dread  I'm dreading having to meet his parents
 Enjoy  I enjoy meeting people and seeing new places
 Escape  How to escape going to school?
 Excuse  Excuse my interrupting you
 Envisage  When do you envisage finishing the project?
 Fancy  I didn't fancy swimming in that water
 Feel like  I feel like going for a swim
 Finish   Have you finished reading that magazine?
 Imagine  Imagine spending all that money on a coat!
 Justify  The fact that we are at war does not justify treating innocent people as criminals
 Keep  He keeps trying to distract me
 Mind/don’t mind  Do you have a boyfriend, if you don't mind me asking?
 Miss  I only just missed being run over by a bus this morning
 Permit  The prison authorities permit visiting only once a month
 Postpone  We've had to postpone going to France because the children are ill
 Practise  His written French is very good but he needs to practise speaking it
 Put off  All this rain really puts you off going out after work


I'm going to quit smoking
Recall A place I recall visiting when I was young
Report  Spies reported seeing a build-up of soldiers
Resent He resents having to explain his work to other people
Resist She couldn’t resist asking him about his date
Resume  He stopped to take a sip of water and then resumed speaking
Risk  He risked losing his house when his company went bankrupt
Suggest I suggested putting the matter to the committee
Tolerate He won’t tolerate anyone questioning his decisions
Worth It's worth trying


3. Gerunds can serve as an object after a noun and a preposition:

Apology (for) Please accept my apology for being so late
Art (of) The art of baking
Astonishment (at) He could not conceal his astonishment at seeing them together
Chance (of) There is no chance of seeing him till Monday
Disappointment (at) The disappointment of doing something amazing while no one was watching
Experience (in) How was your experience in doing a research project?

Fear (of)

Fear of flying is a fear of being on an airplane
Habit (of) To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life
Idea (of) She has an idea of becoming an engineer
Importance (of) The Importance of Being Earnest
Intention (of) I have no intention of going to the wedding
Interest (in)  Interest in becoming a police officer
Method (of)  Principles and methods of teaching
Necessity (of) The necessity of learning English cannot be overstated
Objection (to) Do you have any objections to working overtime if necessary?

Opportunity (of)

The reason I would like to study in Britain is to have the opportunity of working for Dyson
Plan (for) I have worked out a plan for making a lot of money
Pleasure (of) I'd travel a thousand miles just for the pleasure of meeting you
Possibility (of) He talked about the possibility of getting married
Preparation (for) Preparations for opening of the new school
Problem (of) They discussed the problem of bullying in schools
Process (of) The process of obtaining a driver's license
Reason (for) One of his reasons for coming to England was to make money
Surprise (at) They couldn't conceal their surprise at seeing us together
Way (of) A way of doing things

4. Gerunds can appear at the beginning of a sentence when used as a subject or act as an object following the verb:

Swimming is pleasant.
My greatest pleasure is travelling.
He enjoyed sitting in the sun.

5. Some verbs can be followed either by a gerund or by an infinitive and there is little or no difference in meaning between the two:

To allow  You're not allowed talking/to talk during the exam
To attempt He attempted escaping/to escape through a window
To begin Jane has just begun learning/to learn to drive
To bother You'd have found it if you'd bothered looking/to look
To cease

He will cease being/to be prime minister
To continue If she continues drinking/to drink like that, I'll have to carry her home

To intend We intend to go. They intend going
To permit Weather that permits sailing/you are permitted to smoke
To recommend I recommend visiting Paris/I recommend that you visit Paris
To start  They started building/to build the house in January


The verbs hate, like/dislike, love, prefer are followed by gerunds if we are talking about general situations:

I like going to the cinema. (I always enjoy it)

I hate ironing. (I always hate it)


The verbs hate, like/dislike, love, prefer are followed by infinitives if we are talking about particular situation:

I hate to play tennis on Sunday mornings.

I like to swim in the mornings.


Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or infinitive but with a change in meaning:


+ gerund = remember something you did before

I remember locking the door.

+ infinitive = remember something and then do it

I remembered to buy bread.


+ gerund = forget something you did before (opposite of Rememeber + gerund) 

I forget locking the door.

+ infinitive = forget to do something (opposite of Remember + infinitive) 

Don't forget to buy bread.


+ gerund = I made an experiment

It was too hot in the room. I tried opening the window.

+ infinitive = I made an attempt

I tried to open the window, but I couldn't because it was stuck.


+gerund = to not do something any more

I stopped working for this company.

+ infinitive = to not do something in order to do something else

I stopped to have a break.

Regret (I'm sorry)

+gerund = I apologize for a previuous action

I regret telling my friend my biggest secret.

+ infinitive = I apologize for something that will happen

I regret to inform you that you have not been selected for interview.

Go on

+ gerund = we want to say that a previous activity continues

After dinner he went on showing us his photos.

+ infinitive = we want to describe an activity that follows a previous action and is somehow connected to

He gave us a lecture on the Greek history. And then he went on to show us his photos from Greece.