Gerunds are nouns built from a verb with an ‘-ing’ suffix. They can be used as the subject of a sentence, an object, or an object of preposition. They can also be used to complement a subject. Often, gerunds exist side-by-side with nouns that come from the same root but the gerund and the common noun have different shades of meaning. Examples: breath and breathing, knowledge and knowing.

Examples of gerunds as the subject of a sentence are:

  • Backpacking is a rewarding pastime.
  • Stretching can loosen up muscles.
  • No smoking. (I.e., no smoking is allowed / you may not smoke here.)

As an object:

  • We all love to go bowling on the weekend.
  • He loves eating chips.

An object of preposition:

  • They complained of hearing strange sounds from the next cabin.
  • They sang about being eaten by bears to allay their fears.

And as a complement to a subject:

  • One of the most dangerous things to do on the lake is ice-skating.

Source: To Learn English


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