Questions tagged [gerunds]

A ɢᴇʀᴜɴᴅ is a type of verb, in particular an -ɪɴɢ verb that heads a non-finite verb clause when that entire clause is being used as a noun phrase, typically as the subject or object of a finite clause. Not to be confused with -ɪɴɢ words that are no longer verbs, like deverbal nouns or participial adjectives, a gerund accepts only verb modifiers and arguments, not those of nouns or adjectives.

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55
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4answers
27k views

When is a gerund supposed to be preceded by a possessive adjective/determiner?

I assume that the following sentences are grammatically correct: He resents your being more popular than he is. Most of the members paid their dues without my asking them. They objected to ...
52
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2answers
23k views

When is “L” doubled?

Some verbs can have double Ls in the gerund form; for example: modeling; modelling traveling; travelling Which form should we use, or which form is used more in the literature?
49
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4answers
46k views

When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive?

Some verbs are followed by ing, e.g. I enjoy swimming. We can't say I enjoy to swim. Likewise, some verbs are followed by to, e.g. I decided to make a plan. Which particular verbs are followed by ...
40
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1answer
5k views

Origin of “-ing”

What is the origin of the suffix -ing used to form gerunds and present participles? Why is the suffix the same in both cases?
39
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3answers
259k views

What's the difference between a gerund and a participle?

What is the difference between a gerund and a participle?
39
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1answer
280k views

“Canceling” or “cancelling” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is “L” doubled? I'm confused about the two spellings. In which contexts do I have to use canceling or cancelling? Google returns 15.6 million results with ...
35
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5answers
8k views

The times they are a-changin'

I have always been intrigued by the word usage in the title of this Bob Dylan song. Wikipedia mentions that the song was influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads: Dylan recalled writing the song as ...
27
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2answers
320k views

How to use “to + V-ing”?

I saw some scenarios that used the structure "to + V-ing", such as the following: Looking forward to hearing. Disposed to using few words. I would like to apply what I learned in school to helping ...
21
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5answers
184k views

“Plan to do” vs. “plan on doing”

What are the differences between the following? He is planning to do something. He is planning on doing something. When to use each?
20
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6answers
9k views

How does one know when to use a gerund or an infinitive?

As a native speaker of English, the gerund version of this sentence sounds better: infinitive: When used together in chains, extension methods are an unprecedented tool to produce extremely ...
20
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7answers
7k views

When can the -ing form of a verb be placed before a noun?

My native-speaker's grammatical intuition tells me that: There is a sleeping man under the tree. is fine but There is a fishing man by the river bank. is wrong. Why? I've thought about this ...
19
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3answers
11k views

Does a gerund always end with “-ing”? If so, why?

After asking what the difference is between a gerund and a participle, I began to wonder if all gerunds end with -ing, since I couldn't think of any that didn't. If they do, why?
17
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4answers
2k views

'The X-ing of Y' vs just 'X-ing Y' : why are both 'the' and 'of' necessary together?

Take the example of There is very little that a conforming POSIX.1 application can do by catching, ignoring or masking SIGSYS (From the SIGSYS article) This can be rewritten as There is very ...
16
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12answers
5k views

How many parts of speech can a word be at the same time?

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Is it ever possible for a sentence to have a word in it that is simultaneously more than one single part of speech in that sentence under the same parse and meaning? (For example, a few ...
16
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4answers
92k views

“I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something”

This is what I read in an answer to a previous question: Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used. <…> (dis)like &...
15
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2answers
4k views

“Try to save” or “try saving”

Are both try to save the file and try saving the file grammatically correct? If so, is there any difference in meaning?
15
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2answers
7k views

Past tense and “rather than”

I found myself with a sentence like this, using "accept" in the infinitive form after "rather than": They left the club, rather than accept the terms. But I'm unsure of its grammatical soundness. ...
14
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7answers
7k views

Is “running” a gerund or a participial adjective?

An enlightening experiment Google Books yields only 39 results, and instead asks me if I wanted to say “an enlightening experience”, and eagerly shows an impressive 10,000 results when I click on ...
13
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4answers
190k views

“Started to work” vs “Started working”

What is the difference between the following: Things started to work again. Things started working again.
12
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4answers
13k views

What is a gerund? A noun or a verb? 'His smoking upset me’

I've been studying the Huddleston and Pullum book for four months now. So far only one thing confuses me: the identity of gerund. Is it a noun or a verb? His constant smoking upset me. smoking ...
11
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8answers
86k views

Is “solutioning” a correct word?

My Outlook flags the word "solutioning" as a spelling mistake. According to Urban Dictionary : solutioning: A word many business people misuse to describe the process of creating a solution. ...
11
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6answers
60k views

-ing vs -in' ending

I wonder if the "g" in the -ing forms is pronounced. When I hear it it seems as if it's not pronounced sometimes or just slightly, though sometimes I've been told that I should pronounce "g" for ...
10
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5answers
2k views

progressive forms: participle or gerund?

Progressive forms of verbs consist of the form to be + participle. At least that is what most English grammars say or they are imprecise and speak of the -ing form. My question is what follows after ...
10
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1answer
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“Road liable to flooding” — is this roadsign grammatically correct?

I passed the roadsign below while driving home late last night, and realised that despite how many times I had seen it, I was still surprised by the choice of words used and unsure if it was actually ...
9
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5answers
993 views

Cooking apples and cleaning ladies

Consider the following sentences: Cooking is my favourite activity. Cooking apples are essential for this recipe. Cooking functions in the first sentence as a gerund. How does it function in the ...
9
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6answers
27k views

Beginning a sentence with a gerund?

My teacher recently marked on my paper not to use a gerund to start a sentence. I have been told by teachers in the past to use that format to vary sentence structure. It seems to make the paper flow ...
9
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3answers
5k views

Help identifying an error type “tried to help me learning”

I have a friend from Russia who is trying to learn English and recently used the sentence "He tried to help me learning..." (implied: the English language) It is obviously wrong and I corrected it ...
9
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6answers
30k views

Is there a difference between “way of doing something” and “way to do something”?

Is there a difference between "way of doing something" and "way to do something"? It is on purpose that I did not write "a way of doing something" or "the way of doing something" and "a way to do ...
9
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2answers
679 views

Gerund? Infinitive? Why, when we talk about jobs, do we say “I have a job taking people on tours” instead of “I have a job to take people on tours”?

I'm teaching English in China. I wanted middle school or younger, but I was put with some great high school kids and they sometimes ask me questions that I don't know how to answer yet. I'm a native ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Is there the gerund of the verb “can”?

I would like translate a Portuguese phrase into English: Esta técnica é bem poderosa, podendo ser extendida para várias outras questões. In English I got: This technique is very powerful and ...
8
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2answers
20k views

Can a prepositional phrase be the direct object?

We're covering grammar in English I, and we just got to gerunds. In one of the exercises, I had the sentence "Pilgrims learned about planting crops from the Wampanoags." I'm supposed to find the ...
7
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2answers
19k views

Grammatical complements for “allow”

Are any of these verb phrases grammatical? allows the user of modeling and resolving allows the user to model and resolve Which version of the following sentence is correct/better? ...
7
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3answers
48k views

“Stop working” vs “stopped to work”

I want to know, is there any difference between "stop + v.(ing)" and "stopped to + v.". These are example sentences. I stop working for a month. vs I stopped to work for a month. I stop watching ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds

What is the difference in meaning when the catenative verb “like” is followed by an infinitive, or by a gerund? For example: Do you like ski jumping? vs. Do you like to ski jump? Also, what ...
7
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2answers
2k views

“Comparing” vs “A comparison of ”

A professor criticized the language in a presentation. In particular he said that English preferred a noun phrase such as a comparison of  to a gerund such as comparing. For reference the entire ...
7
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1answer
784 views

Are these parts of speech correct? [closed]

Considering the following sentences: Don't listen to those other people. You should always use prefixes with your table names. I have even started using them in normal writing. See how ...
7
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5answers
21k views

Singular vs. Plural with Multiple Gerunds as Subject (IE: [Gerund] and [Gerund] are/is [something].)

I'm trying to find out whether I should use a singular or plural verb when there are multiple gerunds as the subject of the sentence. For example: Running the correct course and keeping a steady ...
7
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1answer
23k views

What is difference between “using” and “by using”?

Sometimes both "using" and "by using" seem to have the same meaning. Am I wrong? For example, compare the sentences below: "On-screen keyboards allow people with mobility impairments to type data ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Can a gerund be modified by an adjective?

Is the sentence below grammatically correct? Good writing requires hard work. Or should it read: Writing well requires hard work. Can a gerund be modified by an adjective or must it be ...
7
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3answers
12k views

Is “swimming” a gerund in “I went swimming”?

What is the function of swimming in the following sentence? I went swimming with some friends yesterday. Is swimming a gerund here? If it is, what is the grammatical function?
7
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5answers
486 views

Dropping the '-ing' in noun adjuncts

I always remember many verbs ending in -ing. Swimming club/cap and shaving foam for example. I now see increased use of swim club and shave foam. Why has this happened, is it correct use of English ?...
7
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1answer
4k views

How do I know when a verb should be followed by a gerund or an infinitive?

A few weeks ago I posted a question about the usage of a verbal in a particular sentence. But now, I have another question on the same topic, gerund. Sometimes I don't know for sure if I need to use ...
7
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1answer
685 views

Subject-control verbs

I have been studying Raising and Controlling, but it seems quite hard to understand its function and uses. I would like any of you to analyze this explanation and tell me whether I got it correct or ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Referring to a gerund with a pronoun

Is it considered grammatical to refer to a gerund in the subject position with the pronoun "it"? Example: Visiting a dentist regularly is recommended as it can contribute to overall health.
6
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1answer
11k views

“I love to [verb]” vs “I love [gerund]” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” What is the difference between "I love to sing" and "I ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Appositive phrase, participle phrase, gerund phrase and noun phrase. English is confusing

"Every English-speaking country is extremely sheepish towards mega-corporations and their puppet-governments. In continental Europe, France being an example, people stand up for their rights and ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why do we not include a possessive in “thank you for coming”, and include one in “thank you for *your* kindness”?

Why is it more correct to say "thank you for coming" than "thank you for your coming," but it's okay to say "thank you for your kindness," rather than "thank you for kindness"?
6
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1answer
17k views

try + ing vs. try to + infinitive [duplicate]

Which sentence is correct: Why don't you try to give up candy if you want to lose some weight? Why don't you try giving up candy if you want to lose some weight?
6
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2answers
67k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: What to expect working at... I will expect you doing (does not ...
6
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9answers
8k views

When was the word 'being' first used to refer to a human being or sentient being?

I am confused by the use of the word being to refer to a static thing. How can this word that appears to clearly be a verb gerund get turned around to be used as a thing?