The GERUND looks exactly the same as a present participle, but it is useful to understand the difference between the two. The gerund always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb). Here are the different uses of the gerund:
1. The gerund as the subject of the sentence:
Stealing people is wrong.
Flying makes me nervous.
Smoking causes lung cancer.
2. The gerund as the complement of the verb 'to be':
The hardest thing about learning English is using the Phrasal verbs fluently.
One of my pleasures is spending a week in London twice a year.
3. The gerund after prepositions:
The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition.
At : He is very good at learning languages.
In : There's no point in coming tomorrow, the shop will be closed.
Without : Can you answer me without shouting?
4. The gerund after phrasal verbs:
Phrasal verbs are composed of a verb + preposition or adverb.
I think I will never give up smoking.
My son always puts off going to the dentist.
He kept on asking for money.
I am used to waiting for buses.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
5. The gerund in compound nouns:
In compound nouns using the gerund, it is clear that the meaning is that of a noun, not of a continuous verb. For example, with the word "swimming pool" it is a pool for swimming in, it is not a pool that is swimming.
A driving test.
6. The gerund after some expressions:
The gerund is necessary after some expressions:
|Expressions followed by the gerund||Expressions followed by the gerund|
|TO BE BUSY||CAN'T HELP|
|DON'T MIND||CAN'T STAND|
|FEEL LIKE||HOW ABOUT|
|IT'S NO GOOD||IT'S NO USE|
|THERE'S NO||WHAT ABOUT|
|THERE'S NO POINT IN||TO BE WORTH|
I was busy answering the phone.
I can't stand waiting in line.
7. Verbs followed by the gerund:
The gerund is commonly used after quite a few different verbs. The most important of these verbs are shown below. All of these verbs can be followed by nouns instead of gerunds. Remember, gerunds always function as nouns in sentences. Some of these verbs can also be followed by a that-clause.
|MAIN VERBS + THE GERUND||MAIN VERBS + THE GERUND||MAIN VERBS + THE GERUND|
|CARRY ON||GIVE UP||PRACTICE|
I avoid eating too much sugar.
I miss meeting my friends every weekend.
GERUND AND INFINITIVE WITH A DIFFERENCE IN MEANING.
Some verbs have a different meaning when used with Gerund or Infinitive.
I remember switching off the television.
When "remember" is used with a gerund, it means "to remember that you have done something." The sentence above means that I remember the fact that I did that.
Remember to switch off the lights.
When "remember" is used with an infinitive, it means "to remember that you need to do something." The sentence above means that he remembered that he needed to switch the lights off.
He stopped drinking.
"Stop" is normally used with a gerund.
He stopped to drink.
When "stop" is used with an infinitive, the infinitive takes on the meaning of "in order to." In the sentence above, he stopped in order to drink because he was probably thirsty.