Published on July 9th, 2012 In category English

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How to use Gerunds in sentence formation

In this post I would be discussing about Gerunds. A gerund is a verb which is used as noun . It always ends with –ing. It can be used as –

  1. Subject- e.g. Swimming is good fun.
  2. Object-e.g. Tom likes swimming.
  3. Object of preposition-e.g. You cannot imagine the joy of swimming.
  4. Part of an object phrase-e.g. There was enthusiastic waving of flags.
  5. Gerunds preceded by a possessive case / genitive-e.g. I dislike my child’s playing all the time.


  1. Gerund is used as a subject
    1. when an action is considered in general sense like Swimming (in general) is good fun.
    2. It is also used for short prohibitions. For e.g. Smoking is prohibited.
  2. Gerund is used as an object when it is follows a verb like Tom likes (verb) swimming.
  3.  When it is used after prepositions like, You cannot imagine the joy of (preposition) swimming.
  4. P.S. The prepositions except and but are followed by an infinitive.
  5. When it is used as a part of phrase like, There are enthusiastic waving of flags (phrase).
  6. When a noun / adjective is followed by a gerund it is put in possessive case like it is incorrect to write I dislike my child playing all the time (child instead of child’s) .

I would also like to bring it to your notice that –ing is also used in present participle but in that case it serves the purpose of verb and adjective and thus modifies the noun. For e.g. A great white shark ate Tom’s swimming coach.

Tom now practices his sport in safe swimming pools.
In both the cases ‘swimming’ modifies the noun coach and pools .

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