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Gerunds: Form and Use (#1), by Dennis Oliver

Gerunds:
Form and Use (#1)

 

Gerunds are -ing forms of verbs, but they are not part of any
verb tense. Instead, they are used as
nouns. Notice that

1.   Most gerunds are the -ing form (base form + -ing)
of a verb .
     
2.   Gerunds may be affirmative or negative. Negatives
are formed by putting
not before the -ing form.

Gerunds may be used exactly as nouns are used. Their most
common uses are

1.   as subjects;
     
2.   as objects of verbs and prepositions;
     
3.   as subject complements.

Examples:

Subjects

Swimming is excellent exercise.

Drinking too much coffee gives him a headache.

Eating too quickly gave him an upset stomach.

Not doing his homework caused him to fail the test.

Not having an answering machine causes him
to miss many calls.

 

Objects

He dislikes doing homework.

The manager suggested having our meeting
away from the office.

He proposed meeting in a restaurant.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

She's worried about missing her bus.

Are you tired of studying?

She's depressed about not passing the test.

He's nervous because of not being on time.

He's tired from not getting enough sleep.

 

Subject Complements

His hobby is playing computer games.

My least favorite chore is cleaning the bathroom.

His problem is not coming to class on time.

 

___________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

1.  

Notice, in the examples above, that gerunds can
have objects and be followed by modifiers:

Drinking too much coffee gives him a headache.

Eating too quickly gave him an upset stomach.

Not doing his homework caused him to fail the test.

Not having an answering machine causes him
to miss many calls.

He dislikes doing homework.

The manager suggested having our meeting
away from the office.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

He's nervous because of not being on time.

He's tired from not getting enough sleep.

     
2.  

Most gerunds use the -ing form of a verb. There is,
however, a
past form for gerunds: having +
past participle.

I regret saying that. /
I regret having said that.

Excuse me for bothering you. /
Excuse me for having bothered you.

I'm worried about not passing the test. /
I'm worried about not having passed the test.

     
3.  

Gerunds may also be used (though this not common)
as
object complements:

Ms. Jones considers tardiness being more than
five minutes late for class.

How can you call this nonsense writing creatively?

Object complements with gerunds are possible with
only a few verbs. The most common ones are call
and consider.

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