Gerundizing in English

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In English, gerundizing is the process of adding ‘ing’ to the verb. When verbs are gerundized, they function as partly verbs and partly nouns. In other words, by adding ‘ing’ to any verb, the verb changes its function to be a partly noun and partly verb.

Functions of gerunds

1) As subjects of sentences

Gerunds or gerundized verbs when used as subjects of sentences often put at the beginning when focusing on activity as the subject of conversation.

Smoking is dangerous.

Reading EzineArticles is interesting.

Writing articles needs a lot of practice.

Playing tennis is good for your health, and good fun!

Learning a foreign language is not always difficult.

The shooting of the hunter was terrible.

Flying a plane can be dangerous.

The teaching of the doctrine is misleading the people.

Traveling is fun.

The introducing of the new software was clear enough to understand.

2) As an object of a verb

Gerunds here function as objects of verbs. In English there are certain verbs which are gerundized functioning as objects of verbs.

The following are verbs that are commonly followed by the gerund form: like, fancy, dislike, hate, love, abhor, disgust, stop, cease, continue, mind, admit, deny, advise, avoid, consider, delay, cancel, discuss, enjoy, finish, keep, postpone, suggest, recommend, regret, participate, risk, tolerate and go, etc.


I like swimming. My sister fancies cooking. We dislike gossiping. I hate waiting especially for nothing. We love dancing. Anita abhors provoking. We disgust plagiarizing. Why do you stop trying? Indonesia decided to cease firing the Malaysian troops. We continue trying our best. Would you mind opening the door? We admit making mistakes. You deny stealing the money? We advise closing the site asap. Helen avoided meeting Pricila. Don’t ever delay doing things. They have discussed meeting in the next meeting. Do you enjoy surfing? Have you finished doing your project? Keep trying. Don’t postpone writing your thesis. We suggested/ recommended postponing the program. We regret being unable to come. We participated finalizing the proposal.We risk continuing the plant. Don’t tolerate ceating in any game. Harry avoided paying late fees on the account. Denny denied knowing anything about the corruption. I postponed making a decision until Monday. She regrets not studying French in college. Hanna enjoys listening to classical music. Jason admits spending too much money on toys. Let’s go swimming!

3) After certain expressions (can’t help, can’t resist, can’t bear, can’t stand, can’t stop, can’t persist)

Gerunds are used after the expressions such as can’t help, can’t resist, can’t bear, can’t stand, can’t stop, can’t persist,


I can’t stop falling in love with English. Jenny can’t resist eating chocolate mints. His words can’t bear repeating. Terry can’t stand staying in Indonesia because it’s hot. I can’t stop wanting the woman..

4) Phrasal verbs with particle prepositions are Gerundized

Gerunds are used after phrasal verbs (verbs followed by particle prepositions), in other words, gerunds are used with phrasal verbs that end in prepositions. Phrasal verbs are verb phrases which are made up of two or more words, generally the verb plus one or two prepositions such as: think of, look into, call off, get over, figure out, look forward to, put off, take over, stop off, deal in, object to, ccount on, rely on, etc.


Have you thought of moving to the country? Never put off doing things. The coach called off practicing for the day. Tom looked into finding a new job.She took a long time to get over losing her dog. I looked into buying a new computer. Sally succeeded in geting over losing weight. We look forward to meeting you again at Why don’t you take over overseeing the project? Terry stopped off shopping for the family. We deal in distibuting gas in the country. We object to manipulating the data. The man just counts on collecting garbage to live his family. Don’t rely on using the dictionary for meanings.

5) As objects of prepositions

In English verbs are gerundized as objects of prepositions: in, on, at, for, by, of, off, from, into, out of, oppositte, etc. This means that whenever a verb follows a preposition, the gerund or ‘ing’ form of the verb is used. This is especially important for adjective + preposition combinations and phrasal verbs (shown above) which generally end in prepositions.


In making a decision there are many things to consider. On checking the goods, we found something wrong with the goods. We need to discuss before we arrive at making up our mind. I am here for attending a writing workshop. By following the formula, we can make money fast. Instead of staying I’d rather go to theatre. We have just come from visiting the factory.

6) Certain Adjectives with certain prepositions take Gerunds

In English gerunds are used after certain adjectives with certain preposition combinations which include: afraid of, good/bad/poor, excellent for (in, at), interested in, different from, tired of, astonished/surprised at (by), sure about/of, capable of, slow in, similar to, to be/get accustomed to/used to, similar to, etc.


I am afraid of waking up my father. Some of the cadets are bad at spelling words in English. You are good at speaking English. They are poor at pronouncing words in Indonesian. These vegetables are exccelent forimproving your health. I am interested in writing articles on music and sports. Are you afraid of climbing the mountain? The tour guide is tired of leading the tour. John is good at speaking Dutch. Sally was afraid of walking alone in the dark. They are capable of solving their complicated problem. We are used to/accustomed to working late at night.

7) As objects of possessive adjectives

Verbs are gerundized after possessive adjectives such as my, your, his, her, our, their, its, Mary’s, John’s, etc.


Thank you for your coming. Do you like my coming to your office? I don’t mind his asking me about our business. We always hope his visiting to our site. We didn’t object to their interrupting us during the discussion. I expected Mary’s coming yesterday. John’s questioning may be right. I don’t understand its teaching us about the game.

8. As objects of objective pronouns

After objective pronouns such as me, you, him, her, them, her, him, us, it, Mary, Tom, etc. verbs are gerundized too.

I disagree with him suggesting such an idea. I like him coming over to my office. Do you like me coming to your office? I don’t mind him asking me about our business. I expected Mary coming yesterday. I don’t understand him behaving so rudely to us.

8) need, want, require+ Gerund

When verbs need, want and require are gerundized, they may have a passive infinitive meaning.


The flowers are dying so they need watering (They need to be watered). The floor is dirty so it requires cleaning (It requires to be cleaned). The deck wants painting (It wants to be painted).

9. no use and worth + Gerund

Gerunds are also used after such expressions as no use, no value, no essence, no ground, no excuse, no reason and (not) worth.


There is no use crying over the spilt milk. It is (not) worth doing such an activity anymore, it’s useless. There is no ground complaining about the defeat. There is no excuse coming late again.

10. No+ Gerunds to make prohibitions in English.

In English when making prohibitions with “no”, gerunds are often used or the verbs are gerundized.


No smoking (smoking is not allowed) No parking! No tresspassing! No provoking! No overtaking!

In summary, English verbs are gerundized by adding ‘ing’ to any verb, and the verbs gerundized change their functions to be partly nouns and partly verbs. Gerunds can function in English as subjects of sentences, as objects of verbs, of prepositions, of possessive objectives, of possessive adjectives, etc.

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