It can be used in the following ways:
- as subject of a sentence
- after prepositions
- after certain verbs
- in noun compounds
- After possessive adjective
1. As Subject
It is easier to read French than to speak it.
= Reading French is easier than speaking it.
Eating between meals is bad for the figure.
- The gerund is used in short prohibitions:
No smoking. No loitering. No spitting. No trespassing.
2. After Prepositions
- When a verb is placed immediately after a preposition the gerund form must be used: He insisted on seeing her. I have no objection to hearing your story again.
Can you touch your toes without bending your knees?
He is good at telling lies. She is fond of climbing.
A corkscrew is a tool for taking out bottles.
We had a lot of difficulty in finding the house.
What about leaving it here and collecting it on the way back?
- A number of verb – preposition adverb combinations take the gerund.
The most common of these are: be for/against, care for, give up, keep on, leave off, look forward to, put off, see about, take to, go on, be used to, be accustomed to:
I don’t care for standing in queues.
He took to ringing us up in the middle of the night.
I have seen the film; now I am looking forward to reading the book.
3. After certain verbs
The gerund must be used after the following verbs:
Stop, finish, dread, detest, prevent, avoid, risk, admit, deny, recollect, resent, delay, postpone, defer, enjoy, fancy, imagine, forgive, pardon, excuse, suggest, keep(=continue), understand, mind(object), consider, miss, involve, resist, save(=save oneself the trouble of), anticipate, can’t stand /can’t bear (=endure), can’t help (=prevent/avoid), It’s no use/no good worth(adj) and past.
Nobody can bear being treated as a slave all the time
I can’t stand living in a noisy neighborhood.
This radio is totally damaged. It is past repairing
Either gerund or infinitive can be used after the following verbs:
Begin, start, continue, attempt, intend, can’t bear, love, like, hate, prefer, remember, regret, permit, allow, advise, recommend, it needs/requires/wants, try, propose, mean, go on, used to, be afraid (of).
- The garden needs watering = The garden needs to be watered.(passive)
My shoes want mending = My shoes want to be mended.
The letter requires stamping = The letter requires to be stamped.
- The boss wants these letters posted today.
You’ll see pour name written on the board.
- If you see a cat carry a dead mouse don’t let it enter the house, will you?
I saw somebody crossing the road.
John stopped eating means stopped the activity of eating.
John stopped to eat means stopped some other activity in order to eat.
I don’t like to go usually means I don’t go (because I don’t think it right).
I don’t like going usually means I go, although I don’t enjoy it.
Marry remembered writing to her family.
Marry remembered to write to her family.
Remembered writing means that she wrote at some time in the past and that she remembered later.
Remembered to write means that she did not forget her intention to write. Thus the ‘remembering’ was the first, and the ‘writing’ second.
Try to do = attempt to do, make an effort to do:
I was very tired. I tried to keep my eyes open, but I couldn’t.
Please try to be quiet when you come home. Everyone will be asleep.
Try doing = do something as an experiment or test:
I’ve got a terrible headache. I tried taking an aspirin, but it didn’t help.
(= I took an aspirin to see if it would stop my headache)
*Try some of this tea-may be you’ll like it. (drink some of it to see if you like it
*We tried every hotel in town, but they were all full. (=we went to every hotel to see if they had a room)
- In noun compounds
A diving board ( a board of diving off)
A reading lamp ( a lamp for reading), etc.
- 2. After Possessive Adjective :
I don’t like his moving to the city
- I. Special Expressions Followed The — ing Form of a verb.
Examples: This novel is worth reading.
I had difficulty getting a passport.
We had fun doing the cross word puzzle.
It is no use telephoning her now.
There’s no point in buying a car if you don’t want to drive it.
It ‘s a waste of fine waiting for her.
He had trouble looking up words in a dictionary.
We spent the entire day looking for a new apartment.
They had a good time listening to music on the radio.
We had a difficult time finding the solution to the problem.
I caught my sister smoking a cigarette.
The mechanic started the pump running.
He sat at the desk writing.
He often go swimming.