Gerund has exactly the same form as the present participle (V1+ -ING).

It can be used (= the position of noun in a sentence) :

  1. as subject
  2. as object of certain verbs
  3. as object of preposition
  4. as complement
  5. in noun compound


e.g. – Understanding someone else needs a mature personality.

Creating a good picture through a computer is really amazing.

2. AS OBJECT of certain verbs

The certain verbs  are  :

admit, anticipate, appreciate,  avoid,  be worth,  can’t help, can’t stand, consider,  delay,  deny, dislike, dread, enjoy, escape, excuse, fancy (= imagine), finish,  forget,  give  up,   imagine,  involve,  keep  (= continue),  look forward to, mind (= object to), miss,  par­don,  postpone, practice, prevent, propose  (=  suggest), recollect, remember, risk, stop, suggest, understand

e.g. – Do you enjoy learning English?

– Women always dread getting old.



APPRECIATE : requires a possessive adjective before gerund:

e.g.    – I appreciate your giving me so much of your time.

– Everyone will appreciate his telling them about the broken bridge.

EXCUSE, FORGIVE, PARDON : take either possessive adjective + gerund  or  object + for + gerund :

e.g.    – Forgive my interrupting you!

– Forgive me for interrupting you!

– He excused our coming late yesterday.

– He excused us for coming late yesterday.

PREVENT :  takes either possessive adjective +  gerund   or  object + (from) +  gerund :

e.g.   – The government prevents his leaving this country.

– The government  prevents  him  from  leaving  this country.

These verbs  can be followed directly by  gerund  or  by possessive adjective/object + gerund. If they are direct­ly followed by gerund, the gerund refers to the subject :

approve / disapprove of,   dislike,  fancy,  insist   on,  involve, like, mean, mind, object to, propose,  remember, save,  stop,  suggest,  understand,  it is  no   good / use, there’s no point in, what’s the point of

e.g. – Andi  insisted on seeing the document .(=  Andi  saw it)

but the gerund refers to the person denoted by the  possessive adjective or object if we put him before gerund :

e.g. – Andi insisted me on seeing the document  (= I saw / had to see the document because he forced me to)

STOP  (=  PREVENT)  : the pronoun is more  usual  than  the possessive adjective :

e.g. – I can’t stop him taking a picture of the victim.

MIND :  used chiefly in the interrogative (in request)  and negative :

e.g.   – Would you mind helping me ? (= I ask for a help)

– Would you mind my helping you ? (= I offer a help)

– I  don’t  mind staying in this room.  (= I  stay in this room and I don’t  object to)

– I  don’t mind his staying in this room (= He  stays in this room and I don’t object   to)

SUGGEST, PROPOSE : can be followed by :

a. gerund :

e.g. – He suggested taking a computer course ( = someone who is given the suggestion is general )

 possessive adjective / object + gerund :

e.g. – She suggested him / his applying the new method  ( = he is advised (by her) to apply it.  * There is a certain person to be advised  )

b. that + subject + should

e.g.       – She  suggested  that  he should  apply  the  new method.


3.  as OBJECT of preposition

e.g.        – Aren’t  you interested in working on  agriculture  research?

– She left after getting what she needed.



e.g.      – Their  target is building a laboratory  for  chemistry research.  ( = Their target is to build …)

– What  I always dream on is having my own library  with many kinds of books in it.

The  perfect gerund can also be used :

e.g.    – She is accused of having copied the data about the research.

Having read this lesson twice makes me understand it well.


5. in COMPOUND NOUN (= as noun modifier)

e.g.    –  washing machine = machine which is used for washing

– swimming suit   = a suit / garment that is for swimming

– pruning knife   = a knife for pruning





may use to- infinitive  or  gerund without any difference in meaning:

e.g.     –     I began working.   OR   I began to work.

–     We continue discussing it.  OR We continue to discuss it.


to infinitive is more common for them

e.g.    – You should attempt to reach your future yourself.

–  He intends to promote some of his employees.


If the person concerned  is mentioned, we use  to infinitive :

e.g. – My teacher advised me to be more active.

but gerund is used when there isn’t any person concerned :

e.g. – My teacher advised being more active.

the gerund after allow and  permit can’t have an object :

e.g.     –     The chief allowed leaving early.

–     The headmaster doesn’t permit staying in class during the break.


can be  followed  by either  gerund (more usual) or passive infinitive:

e.g.     –     This tree wants pruning.  =  This tree wants to be pruned.

–     Your house requires repairing.  = Your house requires to be repaired.

If we put a person as the subject of those words, to infinitive construction is used.

e.g.     –    I need to prune  this tree in order that I can get the best yield.

–     We want  to repair  this house because there is some cracked wall here and there.


are  used with  gerund  when the action expressed by the gerund  is earlier than the one expressed by those verbs :

e.g.     –     I  regret spending so much money on this  useless  thing.  (= be sorry for what has happened or happened, so “spending …”  is the first action )

–     They  will  never forget having a short dialogue with  the Pope.  (= never forget what they experienced)

but  when those verbs express the earlier action, to infinitive form follows them :

e.g.     –     I  regret to inform that you are fired (= be  sorry  for what I am   going to say.  (* regret is the first action)

–     I  remember to tell them about the schedule (=  remember what has to do)

  1. LIKE + gerund = ENJOY

e.g. –     I like staring at my flowers. They are beautiful.

–     Child likes playing with water and sand. He will be angry if we ask him to stop it.

LIKE  +  to infinitive = choose to; be in the habit of ; think  it right to.

e.g.     –     I like to get up early so that I can have plenty of time to prepare for the day work.

–     I don’t like to disturb you this time. I’ll fix it up by myself.

would like (= want / wish) is always followed by to infinitive.

e.g.     –     We would like to get the better result.

–     Would you like to have a look?


We most often use GERUND after prefer, to talk about general preferences.

e.g.     A   :     Do you like having fun with your friends?

B    :    Sometimes, but I prefer reading a book.

 When we say that we prefer one activity to another,  GERUND can be used in both halves of  the sentence.

e.g.-   I  prefer  reading  books to watching films.   (=  I  like reading better than watching films = I would rather read than watch films)

 would prefer + to infinitive

e.g.     –     I would prefer to spend the holiday here.

–     They  would  prefer  to have some days off better than do / doing nothing here.


They  have different  meanings  according to whether they are  used  with gerund or infinitive :


e.g. –     He  agreed to stay for a moment. (= I or someone  else asked him to stay and he said that he would.)

–     He agreed to staying for a moment. (= there’s an  idea of staying for a moment and he didn’t object to it.)

–     He agreed to my staying for a moment. (= I suggested that I could stay for a moment and he didn’t mind it.)


e.g.     –     As he is afraid of losing his job, he never  criticizes his boss. (There’s no intention to lose the job )

–     He   is   afraid  to  tell  the  truth,  so  he  just  keeps quiet.  (There’s an intention to tell it but he doesn’t have the courage)


e.g. –     I  was about to step my foot / I was on the point  of stepping  my  foot  when there was a snake passing through my way.

–     The lady was about to leave the room in a hotel  /  The lady was on the point of leaving the room in a hotel when the police caught her.

(BE) SORRY FOR + GERUND (= apologize for what we have done or did)

e.g. – I  am  sorry for embarrassing you last night.  (=  I’m sorry  that I embarrassed  you last night)

(BE) SORRY  TO + INFINITIVE (= apologize for what we are  doing  or about to do)

e.g. –     Sorry to  interrupt,  I need to talk to  you  for  a minute.

–     We are sorry to let you all wait for us for some minutes because we have some more important things to handle.


e.g.  –     They still don’t understand your explanation. So,  it means repeating once again.    (= involve)

–     Though he has failed twice, he means to try it again.  (= intend)


in  general it is followed by gerund  (= continue  what  one has been doing):

e.g.  –     Don’t worry,  we will go on finishing it soon!

–     They went on observing the disease.

it  can be used with  to infinitive. (=  change or move on  to something  new, usually with the verbs : tell,  talk,  ex­plain )

e.g. –     He began with the classifying of some plants, then he went on to explain the use of each plant.

Compare these sentences:

  • He went on telling about the method of planting cuttings.    (=  he had told it for some minutes but  there’s  someone interrupting him )
  • He went on to tell about the method of planting cuttings. (=  he had told about how to plant in general then he continued the next topic)


e.g. – I propose starting tomorrow.  (= suggest)

– I propose to start tomorrow.  (= intend)

STOP  +  GERUND = cease

e.g. – You should stop him leaving without my permission.

STOP  +  TO INFINITIVE = halt (means in purpose)

e.g.- Some  tourists stopped here to ask about the way.

TRY  +  GERUND = make an experiment; do something to see  what will happen.

e.g. – He tried applying the new fertilizer (means: he  had spread  out the fertilizer   and saw what would  happen then)

TRY +  TO INFINITIVE = make an effort; attempt to do  something difficult

e.g. – He  tried  to apply the new  fertilizer   (means:  he counted  the amount of the chemical  elements  which are needed for his plants)

SUBJECT  +  USED TO  +  VERB1 ( * this expresses the past habit )

e.g. – My family used to have a meal together  when all of the children were still in the elementary and secondary school.


e.g. –     I have been used to hot climate.

–     I have been used to living in hot climate.

–     The students get used to the school’s regulation.

–     They will become used to working efficiently.




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