Gerunds used like nouns

After some verbs we can use an –ing form, but not normally an infinitive.

I enjoy spending time with my kids. (NOT I enjoy to spend time with my kids.)

I have finished repairing the computer. (NOT I have finished to repair the computer.)

You must quit smoking. (NOT You must quit to smoke.)

Mother suggested consulting a doctor. (NOT Mother suggested to consult a doctor.)

Verbs + object + -ing form

Some verbs can be followed by object + -ing form.

I dislike people telling me what to do.

You can’t stop me doing what I want to.

I saw him talking to her.


The verbs stop and prevent are often followed by object + from + -ing form.

Nothing can prevent me from going there. OR Nothing can prevent me going there.

You can’t stop him from doing what he wants to. OR You can’t stop him doing what he wants to.

Instead of object + -ing form, many of these verbs can be followed by possessive + -ing form. This is common in a formal style.

I don’t mind your coming late as long as you don’t wake me up.

The –ing form can have a passive meaning after certain verbs like deserve, need and require.

Your nails need cutting. (= Your nails need to be cut.)

That car wants cleaning. (= That car wants to be cleaned.)