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GERUNDS

A gerund is a form of a verb ending in “ing.” A gerund has the properties of a verb and a noun.

Take the word “reading.”


a. It can be used as a verb- I was reading for five hours last night. This is the action.
b. It can also be used as a noun- Reading is his favorite hobby. Reading is the subject.

With the example “thinking.”


a. As a verb- I am thinking of a number between one and ten.
b. As a noun- Thinking of a name for my paper took a long time.

In the above examples lettered “b” the gerund only has the properties of a noun. However if we
add some words to the sentences, these gerunds can function as verbs and nouns at the same
time.

Reading good books is his favorite hobby. Reading is still the subject of the sentence. However
by adding “good books” to the sentence, we add an object that receives the action. This means
that reading can have the properties of a noun (the subject of the sentence) and a verb (because
it does some action to the phrase “good books.”)

Thinking deeply of a name for my paper took a long time. Thinking is still the subject of the
sentence. However by adding “deeply” to the sentence, we are adding an adverb. This adverb,
“deeply” is modifying the word “thinking” which allows that word to function as a verb. So like
reading, thinking can have properties of a noun or a verb.

Examples: Underline the gerund in the following sentences

1. Making posters for the pep rally is today’s task.

2. Directing the orchestra was his job

3. The robbers only difficulty was opening the safe.

4. Our principal forbids talking in the corridor

5. They began constructing cabins in the clearing

6. After reading the letter, Tom was overcome with emotion

7. Working diligently is a good habit for ninth graders to have.

8. She earned extra money by selling magazines

9. Travelling with my parents feels like “forced fun.”


Change the verb in parentheses into a gerund:

1. (skydive) ___________________________can be dangerous.

2. (eat) We finished ___________________________the meal three hours ago.

3. (swear) My grandmother won’t tolerate ___________________________.

4. (sweep) After ___________________________the floor, you can clean the windows.

5. (fight) ___________________________with your sister will get you in trouble.

6. (dance) He loves ___________________________

7. (cough) His ___________________________kept his sister awake all night.

8. (lie) ___________________________is a terrible habit.

9. (waste) She insists on ___________________________ her time.

10. (gamble) ___________________________ is risky.

Underline the gerund in the following sentences

1. She likes beginning pieces of knitting but hates to finish them.

2. I dread taking examinations.

3. He was annoyed hearing that the conservatives had won again.

4. He enjoys playing the piano.

5. We must avoid annoying our friends.

6. I can't help feeling anxious about the economic situation.

7. I think I can smell something burning

8. Do you mind taking your photos again?

9. I can't think what he was doing in France last summer

10. Who taught swimming last summer?