Posts Tagged ‘gerund’

-Ing forms used like nouns

March 29th, 2012 in English Learning

An –ing form can be the subject, object or complement of a verb.

Smoking is injurious to health. (Here the –ing form smoking is the subject of the sentence.)

I like reading. (Here the –ing form reading is the object of the verb like.)

His favorite activity is sleeping. (Here the –ing form sleeping is the complement of the subject.)

-ing form with its own object

The –ing form can have a subject of its own.

Smoking cigarettes is injurious to health.

I like watching action films.

Determiners and possessives with –ing forms

Determiners (e.g. articles, demonstratives and possessives) are often used with –ing forms.

I don’t mind your coming late.

Would you mind my smoking?

I hate all this arguing.

Possessive forms of nouns can also be used with –ing forms.

She was angry at Peter’s trying to lie to her.


We do not normally use possessives and pronouns before –ing forms if it is already clear who is being talked about.

Thank you for helping me. (NOT Thank you for your helping me.)

When an –ing form is used with an article, it cannot usually have a direct object. We usually put of before the object.

The smoking of cigarettes is injurious to health. (NOT The smoking cigarettes is injurious to health.)

No is often used with an –ing form to say that something is not allowed. This is common in notices.

No smoking

No parking

No waiting