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Sometimes appearances can be misleading. Making sweeping generalizations about things can get you into trouble. This is especially true when it comes to the phrases we use in English.

Gerunds, for example, have the appearance of verbs but do not behave like them. In reality, they tend to behave like nouns.


What serves them? Gerunds are derived from verbs; consequently, why do they refuse to behave like them? Are they having a rebellious transition? Do nouns host better parties than verbs? It is not our duty to evaluate the habits of parts of speech, but it is worthwhile to examine gerunds closely in order to determine the best methods to utilize them in sentences.

(You just do not want their identity struggle to make you appear like a fool with bad grammar!)

  1. They connected over their mutual love of trekking.
  2. I hope to beat the record in scuba diving.

What are the similarities between these two sentences ?

They both finish in verbs, but not just any verbs. These are gerunds. Consider what these verbs are accomplishing for a moment-they aren't expressing the actions in these sentences as usual. Because gerunds do not express the action, they function as nouns.

Gerunds are a versatile and valuable word type because they allow us to talk and write about acts in a more abstract manner, framing those acts as reasons for certain outcomes, pastimes, and recipients of subjects' acts.

What Exactly Are Gerunds?

Although the term may appear unusual, the gerund is a common element of speech that many of us use on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not.

Here, we'll explore gerunds in-depth and present you with various examples of gerunds so you may feel comfortable employing them in your writing and identify them when you come across them.


Gerunds: The Basics

Gerunds are verb-derived words that function as nouns. They're easy to detect because every gerund is a verb with 'ing' attached to the end.

This rule is without exception.Like everything else, gerunds in grammar require a little investigative work to spot. The issue here is that present participles also conclude with the letters ing; therefore, you should be able to tell the distinction between the gerunds and the present participles in addition to gerunds.

For a minute, consider the definition of the gerund. Remember that gerunds are verb-derived words that function as nouns.

Present participles are not nouns. They serve as modifiers or full progressive verbs rather. Simply seek for a verb + ing that is employed as a noun to discover gerunds in sentences. It's as simple as that.

What Is a Gerund, And What Does It Do?

A gerund (usually pronounced as JER-und) is a verb that takes on the role of a noun.

That is, the verb-the term that expresses the action that is taking place, such as "cycling," "reading," "racing," or "swimming"-becomes a thing, a notion that might now be the statement's subject, direct object, indirect object, or prepositional object.

It is still a verb, but its purpose in a phrase moves from describing the activity to becoming a focal point.

Here are two instances of gerund-containing sentences :

  • As a fashion blogger, styling is an associated activity with Shirsha.
  • Iqbal turning off his cell phone and concentrated on his studies.

Gerunds are verbs in the present participle form, as shown in these instances. That is, they are the root verb + "ing":

  • Observing
  • Cycling
  • Stuffing
  • Questioning
  • Baking

But it is not what distinguishes them as gerunds. A verb must operate as a noun in its phrase to be a gerund. Present participle verbs, like the verbs in these examples, are not gerunds when they express an action in a sentence.

Here are some examples;

  1. For the very first time, Mary sees the painting.
  2. As I was crossing the street, I slipped and fell on an uneven surface.

Gerunds aren't the only example of a word (or collection of words) filling a role that would normally be filled by another sort of word. An adverbial clause, for instance, is a clause that serves as an adverb. An adjective phrase is a term used to characterize a noun in the same way that an adjective does.

Gerund Expressions or Phrases

A gerund phrase is a phrase that comprises a gerund and either a modifier or an object, or both. Here are three gerund sentence examples:

  1. Responding to them
  2. Underwater diving
  3. Exercising with daggers

A gerund phrase, like a gerund, functions in a sentence as a noun. Consider how the following gerund sentences do this function:

  1. Responding to them is essential to me.
  2. My sister enjoys going underwater diving with his mates.
  3. I don't recommend exercising with daggers right now (or ever).

A phrase is a tiny set of words that conveys a concept but cannot stand alone as a sentence. In English, there are many different types of phrases, such as verb phrases, noun phrases, preposition phrases, and adjective phrases.


Gerunds can also be employed in conjunction with phrasal verbs, which are two-word phrases that merge a verb with an adverb or preposition to convey a distinct meaning that neither of the words alone can represent. Some examples of phrasal verbs are:

  1. Find out
  2. Look into
  3. Take command

And here are some examples of how phrasal verbs and gerunds can function together:

  1. Try as I might; I just can't find out coding.
  2. I'm concerned my aunt will take command of food preparation when she comes.

Gerunds And Their Types

Gerunds are classified into six types. These are :

  1. Subject: Cycling is my latest leisure activity.
  2. Subject Complement: My favorite traveling method is cycling.
  3. Direct Object: I love cycling.
  4. Indirect Object: My cousin gave cycling a try.
  5. Object Complement: I see myself cycling each day.
  6. Object Of A Preposition: I kept aside a few hours this weekend for cycling.

Gerunds are nearly as versatile as nouns. They, like nouns, can be replaced with pronouns:

Cycling is my latest leisure activity, so I set aside some time on the Weekend to cycle.

Infinitives And Gerunds

Gerunds aren't the sole verbs that can be used as nouns. When using a verb as a noun, one can also make it into an infinitive.

An infinitive is a term "to" followed by the root of a verb. An infinitive can be used in two distinct ways: as a noun to convey a single concept and as an adjective to characterize a noun within the statement. Here are several examples, with infinitives highlighted:

  1. I got some juice for us to drink with our meal. (adjective )
  2. To err is human. (noun )
  3. I hope there are publications to read in the waiting area. (adjective )
  4. We enjoy to travel, but we couldn't fund it this year. (noun )

As you can see, infinitives and gerunds are related but not identical. In a statement where the infinitive serves as a noun, a gerund can easily be substituted, and the sentence will still sound right:

  1. We enjoy traveling, but we couldn't fund it this year.
  2. Erring is human.

However, this isn't always possible, especially when the gerund is the object of a preposition: "I set out a couple of hours on Weekend for to cycle."

This statement would make more sense if the preposition ("for") was removed: "I set out a couple of hours on the weekend to cycle." However, doing so results in the loss of a prepositional phrase.

Some transitive verbs, on the other hand, can only be used with an infinitive. Consider the following examples:

  1. I plan to sing. Correct
  2. I plan singing. Incorrect
  3. They will choose to stay. Correct
  4. They will decide staying. Incorrect

An easy tip to remember is to use an infinitive when discussing something abstract, unreal, or only maybe happening :

That's where he plans to introduce.

When discussing something concrete, real, or that has already occurred, use a gerund:

  1. The rooftop space was ideal for writing.

Now let us see ;

How Does One Make A Gerund?

As previously stated, gerunds are formed by appending "ing" to the ending of a root verb. In other words, a gerund is a verb in the present participle form-but keep in mind that a verb in the present participle form isn't always a gerund.

Examples of Gerunds and Gerund Phrases

Gerunds are extremely flexible and adaptable. Take note of the verbs in these gerund examples, and note that each and every single one of these finishes in ing. By the end of this fast article, you'll have no trouble identifying gerunds.

Here are some more sentences with gerunds and gerund phrases :

  1. Swimming in the sea has been Thompson's fondness since he was six years old.
  2. The dancer taught us twirling.
  3. This time, confessing to me will not be enough.
  4. She is terrified of flying.
  5. They are adept at putting in long hours.
  6. Students were more concerned about clearing the class than with learning.
  7. Sprinting was vital to Emma's fat loss journey.
  8. She considered social work to be her calling.
  9. We viewed a public service announcement about the hazards of drunk driving.
  10. Snowboarding appears to be quite risky.
  11. Diana immediately became tired of hearing about the unpleasant clients.
  12. The journal focuses on fishing and local fishermen's lives.
  13. Giving interviews is hard for many people.

Gerund Phrases

A gerund phrase will frequently begin with a gerund. A gerund phrase (italicized) is made up of a gerund, its objects, and all modifiers.

Consuming strawberries too rapidly will make you sick.

(The gerund phrase, in this case, is made up of the gerund consuming, the direct object strawberries, and the adverb rapidly. )

I like to play poker. I'm not hooked on gambling. I'm hooked to sitting in a big circle.

(The first gerund (gambling) does not lead to a gerund phrase in this case, but the subsequent (sitting) does. The big-circle phrase is an adverb (also known as an adverbial phrase) that modifies the gerund seated.

That's very neat. Let's start adding additional complexities.

Consuming strawberries without cleaning them will make you sick.

(This is identical to the last example, except our adverb is now without cleaning them.) Cleaning them is an adverbial phrase inside our gerund phrase.)


Why Are Gerunds Important?

Gerunds and gerund phrases come naturally to fluent English speakers, and gerunds rarely cause writing problems. Gerunds are so natural to native speakers that they can be used to construct natural, flowing sentences.

One of the most common mistakes in business writing is the overuse of nouns (normal nouns, I mean, not gerunds).

Consider the following example:

We will talk about Jim's punishment for being in violation of the restrictions.

(The writer has overused nouns (marked in bold), giving the sentence a stilted quality. )

To make their work sound more professional, writers frequently use nouns (and the prepositions required to make such nouns work).

Usually, this is poor writing judgment since overusing nouns makes your work tougher to understand, as well as jolty and dull. Cleaner, smoother sentences would be appreciated by your readers.

Cleaner, smoother sentences are best achieved by favoring verbs in your choice of words, but gerunds (which are verb-like themselves) can also help.

We'll talk about penalizing Johnny for violating the rules.

(This 9-word version with two gerunds flows much better than the 14-word version above.) It saves a lot of time, brain cells, and ink because it is simpler to comprehend and shorter.)

Examples Of Gerunds Used as Nouns

Gerunds, as previously noted, seem like verbs but function like nouns. Gerund phrases act similarly to noun phrases. In reality, this implies that gerunds and gerund phrases can serve as the subject of sentences or clauses, or they can be the subject complements linked to the subject by an auxiliary verb (helping verb). Consider the following instances of each of these concepts:

Examples include ;

  1. Gerund As a Subject: Napping is tough if you suffer from anxiety.
  2. Gerund Phrase as A Subject: Being disrespectful to clients will not result in many tips.
  3. As A Subject Complement, Gerund: His main hobby is studying.
  4. Gerund Phrase as A Subject Complement: The thing she disliked most about university was getting up before sunrise.

Examples Of Gerunds as Objects

Gerunds and gerund phrases, like nouns and noun phrases, can be employed as objects in sentences/clauses. They can be utilized as both direct objects and prepositional objects:

  1. Gerund As a Direct Object: Elizabeth has perfected fencing.
  2. Gerund Phrase as A Direct Object: They resent cutting the grass.
  3. Gerund As an Object Of A Preposition: He rapidly resorted to charity.
  4. Gerund Phrase as An Object Of A Preposition: Vacations are ideal for visiting relatives.

You will almost certainly utilize gerunds whether writing an essay, a short novel, a blog post, or even an email or text message. Next time you're writing something, push yourself to find the gerunds. They can be tough, but knowing how to spot them will make you a better writer and reader.

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