WHAT is a gerund? In this lesson, I'll help you to understand this confusing part of English grammar! Later, watch this video to find out the 10 most COMMON MISTAKES that English learners make! 👉https://youtu.be/soN1qPcSDVo
So, to answer the question, a GERUND is a verb that is used as a noun! A noun that looks like a verb!
LOOKING can be a verb and a noun. Confusing, right? The noun looks exactly like the continuous form of the verb.
So, to recognise a gerund, you need to pay attention to HOW it’s used in a sentence. And I'll teach you how in this lesson.
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
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Well hey there! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish! What is a gerund? Do you know? I can tell you that I didn't even know what a gerund was before I started studying to be a teacher. But native English speakers use gerunds a lot in English. All the time. Whether we realise it or not. So it's important that you understand them too and in today's lesson, I'm going to show you how.
Okay, I'm going to start by answering your question in the simplest way possible. What is a gerund? Gerunds look like a verb but they're actually a noun.
Okay, perhaps you still don't know what that means. We all know that a verb is an action, right? We do a verb.
For example, ‘I jog every morning'.
But sometimes, I just want to talk about an action, not do it.
Jogging is one of my favourite ways to exercise.
I love jogging.
I'm talking about ‘jogging' as an action. I'm not jogging right now, I'm just talking about something that I love to do. So in other words, I'm referring to the action of jogging as a noun. Or a thing.
So I've just used the gerund. That's a gerund. I used a word that looks like a verb, as a noun. So that's not too difficult, is it?
And if you think this video will be helpful for any of your friends, then share it with them! You know, the one that really needs some help with their English! Tell them to subscribe. I make new videos answering your trickiest English questions here, every week.
So how can we recognise the gerund? What does it look like? Well the gerund is formed by adding ‘-ing' to the base form of a verb or the bare infinitive form.
base form ‘jog' + ‘-ing' = ‘jogging'
I love jogging.
‘jog' is the base form, ‘jogging' is the gerund. So obviously, the reason why this is confusing is because this looks a lot like the continuous form of the verb, right? So to recognise a gerund, you need to pay attention to how it's used in a sentence.
And I've got a test for you.
I absolutely love singing. But performing in public makes me really nervous. Standing on a stage in front of a crowd is terrifying.
So did you hear all of those gerunds? Did you recognise them? Let's take a closer look. Okay. So far, we've learned so far generally what a gerund is and how to make a gerund.
So here's the next question. When and how do we use gerunds?
Just like nouns, gerunds can be used in many different situations.
- They can be used as the subject of a sentence
- The object of a sentence
- They can be used after prepositions
- They can be used with fixed expressions
- And we can sometimes use a gerund after another verb
That's a lot of different possibilities! So let's break them down together.
subject of a sentence / phrase
Firstly, you can use a gerund when you want to use a verb as the subject of a sentence or a phrase.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community.
Eating fruits and vegetables is important for a healthy diet.
Studying gerunds doesn't have to be frustrating!
Okay? So now it's your turn! I want you to write a sentence in the comments below this video to practise. Tell me, what can be frustrating? Or what else is important to your health? Write a sentence, write an answer to that question in the comments below this video and make sure you're using a gerund and not just a noun. We're practising gerunds today, right? Pause the video if you need to. But tell me what frustrates you in the comments.
object of a sentence
Next you can use a gerund as the object of a sentence. Now there are some very common verbs that take gerunds as objects. All of these verbs can be followed by a gerund.
I really like cooking, but my fiance is a much better cook than me!
She really enjoys taking pictures of sunsets.
I prefer buying meat from my local butcher.
Okay? It's your turn now! What do you dislike doing? What do you prefer doing? Write your sentence in the comments below.
after a preposition
When you see a verb after a preposition, it's actually often a gerund. You remember prepositions, right? I talked about them here in this lesson if you need a refresher. They're words like: on, at, in, under, behind, without.
She walked out of the room without saying a word.
And so these rules about prepositions include expressions that end in prepositions like:
‘in spite of'
In spite of training for years, she got knocked out of the tournament in the first round.
‘there's no point in'
There's no point in taking your jacket, it's really hot outside!
‘fed up with'
I'm fed up with asking you to be quiet!
There are some really common expressions that are followed by gerunds too. Really, you do just need to memorise these ones. Like:
I can't help being a perfectionist!
I can't stand working with people who always show up late!
‘it's no use'
It's no use leaving a message, she never calls back anyway!
‘(to be) worth'
It's not worth spending so much money!
These are all really common expressions that are followed by a gerund. And guess what? It's your turn again! It's your turn to write a sentence. What are some of the things that you can't stand doing? Write it in the comments below.
after a verb
Now you may also see gerunds used after another verb. Now some verbs can be followed by a gerund or the to-infinitive. And this can be a little confusing. Because actually, choosing one or the other can change the overall meaning of a sentence. Because in one sentence, the word is a noun and in the other, it's a verb.
So for example:
I'll never forget driving along the coast of Sicily. It was truly stunning.
Don't forget to take your grandma to the supermarket!
I've actually opened a can of worms there!
So I've made an extra lesson, a separate lesson about gerunds and infinitives and you can watch it right here on the mmmEnglish channel next week. It's going to be my next lesson so I'll go over more details about the difference between infinitives and gerunds in that lesson. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss it!
So let's practise what we've learnt already in this lesson. I want you to find the gerund in each of the examples that I'm about to put here. And tell me is it being used as a subject, an object, as a preposition or with an expression?
It's no use avoiding him. He'll keep asking you until you say yes.
What's the gerund?
‘avoiding', right? And it's a gerund used with a common expression.
‘It's no use'
It's no use avoiding. It's no use asking.
Do you feel like watching a horror movie or a romantic film?
Which is the gerund? And it's a gerund used as an object, isn't it?
Not realising that one of my kids is sick is one of my biggest fears!
So the gerund is ‘realising' and it's a gerund used as a subject.
In spite of being injured, she still managed to finish the marathon!
So the gerund is ‘being' and it's a gerund used after a preposition.
So do you feel a little more confident about gerunds now? I'm going to go down into the comments and check your sentences now so I can make sure that you've been using your gerunds correctly.
And for all of those other pesky English topics make sure you subscribe to the mmmEnglish channel, I cover new topics and tips every week. Just like these ones. I'll see you in the next lesson.
How to write a paragraph in English in Details of step-by-step. How to write essay in English in In details step-by-step.
You are supposed to say “hello, good mornng, could you please help me …”
After your lecture it becomes very easy. Gerund is the ing form which means like a noun.For example :smoking is dangerous to health.
Hi Mrs Emma can you please create a boys project?
I have doubts about when to use the infinitive and when is more appropiate using the “ing” form of the verb, just like in this sentence. Please tell me if there is some rule about it. Thank you. I really love your lessons!
I just released a video on using gerunds and infinitives Patricia! 🙂
You can watch it here: https://www.mmmenglish.com/2018/11/01/how-to-use-gerunds-and-infinitives-confusing-english-grammar/
That's a great job madam…
Thank you so much.. keep going
“…my boyfriend is a much better cook than me.”
Accusative with a conjugal verb? (Forget sloppiness of present day writers and, also,Fowler's prescription.) It is sloppinesadd. It is a genuine wrong and shouldn't be used.
Hello, Emma! You really are a remarkable teacher!
Please, correct the mistakes if necessary:
Kid's crying can be frustrating.
Sleeping for 7-8 hours every night is important for my health.
I dislike standing or walking for hours (my legs dislike working for hours).
I prefer swimming. I really like swimming! Maybe, I'm a sea calf 🙂
I can't stand waiting a bus if I know that I shouldn't go anywhere.
Thank you in advance.
Curling my hair in the mornings is so time consuming.
Preparing dinner every night is a challenge,trying to figure out new recipes constantly.
Good use of gerunds, well done!
Thanks Emma for such a remarkable topics, please I would love to have my grammar mistakes corrected, this are my sentences:
Curling my hair every morning is so time consuming.
Preparing dinner every night is a challenge, trying to figure out new recipes every time.
It was very good. You remind me very good points.Nice of you, very good teacher.
have a good wednesday,too
Hi.emma.our famous and helpful English teacher.before giving a comment about the gerund ‘s lesson,I have to congratulate and thank you so much for sending us the video .this week ,I've really learnd the different types of using gerunds in sentences from you my dear teacher emma of course.i'm absolutely fascinated in studying ,learning,improving,practicing English with you.why? Because you always make English easier.since 2017 when I ‘ve started learning English with you ,I fell my improving English advanced .I can now understand most of your speaking.it's staying for me to say :Thanks a million.until the next week.i m looking forward to receiving your weekly video about a new lesson.dr rebbah from Algeria. Very nice to hear you.
Hi Emma mmmenglish. I m very glad to thank and congratulate you my dear and helpful English teacher. I m absolutely fascinated of learning ,using the different types of gerunds from you of course. Since 2017 when I ‘ve started learning and studying English with you I fell my improving skills advanced more and more than years ago.why? Because of your best methods of teaching.thanks a million .I m looking forward to receiving your weekly videos about a new lesson .Until next week take care. And very nice to hear you .best wishes.
Hi emma i want to ask if this sentence is correct or not.
“A person like you is well deserved to be loved and remembered forever.”
I dislike spending weekend at home
Watching mmm English is one of my daily habits
Drinking saficient amount of water is good for health.
I prefer skating to skiing.
I can't stand walking alone in the dark.
For those studying Spanish, GERUNDIO in Spanish is the equivalent of the continuous tense in English
I am swimming = nadar = estoy nadando
Gerund in Spanish is refered to a “verbo sustantivado”
the verb becomes a noun i.e me gusta NADAR (I like SWIMMING)
I like cooking at home everyday.Selecting the cooking ingredients is important to guarantee the quality of dish and keep healthy.It is worth looking after my family and watching my husband enjoys the the food i cook is my happiness.
Watching boring TV programs is frustrating.
Contacting with animals is useful and healthy.
The first sentence is good Andrey! 🙂
‘contacting' with animals doesn't make sense though.. What are you trying to say?
Hi dear Emma
Many thanks to you for sending us the videos. you are one of the best teacher that I have seen till now and your site is perfect.
I cant stand watching a drama films it hurt my feeling, in spite of knowing that its not actual but I am crying unconsciously on the blue sceneries.
I cant help being silent when someone is telling lie that s frustrating .Forgiving any one is a common way to be calm and relaxing is so helpful and making you decrease the stress and be healthy.
I prefer going to cinema to going to opera.
GOING TO GYM 3 TIMES A WEEK IS ONE OF THE NECESSARY WAYS TO EXERCISE.
There is no point resigning as you haven't looked for a new job yet.finding a new job is hard to come by nowadays.
I appreciate Dear Emma.
Waitting for someone to show up to an event that was planned by him/she might be frustrating.
Spending 15 min per day just for yourself, doing whatever you like is healthy for your mind.
to be frustaiting, object
I prefer spending my money on travelling that buy a new car.
please correct my mistakes
it's not worth discussing with people overbearing
it's not worth discussing with people overbearing
Eating salads is very hard for me
I can't stand doing homework tired!
Drinking water is important for your health
Are the following “ing” words gerunds in these sentences?
1. English spelling is confusing and chaotic.
2. The English language has been like a magnet, attracting words from numerous other languages.
3. It all started with the Britons, an ancient people living in a part of Western Europe…
4. The conquering Norsemen added…
5. Typesetters in the 1500s made things worse by being careless about spelling.
I am so confused! Thank you!
Can you check on this?Thanks
Walking everyday in the farm doesn't only give me a quick tour on my garden but also gaining vitamin D.
I prefer joining online group discussions than chatting with my friends.
There's no point in listening to your lesson if examples are not provided.
I can't help crying upon watching this drama movie.
Hello ,Thank you alot for you teacher Emma ,firs time joining your classes and I Hope that to learn from you more and more ,really your classes very interesting ,useful ,wonderful and attractive .
your new student ,
Thank you for your kind words, Abdelrahim and welcome to mmmEnglish!
e.g :Listening to the teaching videos helps me more in learning .
Thanks alot. That's a good usefaull jop