What is Gerund?

A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding ‘-ing’. It is therefore known as Verb-Noun.

Ex- Exercising is good for your health.
Singing is her favorite hobby.

In these sentences, exercising and singing are gerund as they are derived from verb and act as a noun in the sentence. They have (verb + ing) format.

Uses of the Gerund

Gerund can be used as subject, the object, or the complement of a sentence:

1. Subject

Dancing is a good exercise.
Managing things has become difficult for me, since I shifted to a new house.
Watching movies is my favorite pastime.
Listening songs makes her feel delighted.
Swimming is my favorite sport.

2. Object of a transitive verb

A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. The direct object typically answers the question what? or whom?
Ex- She likes reading.
I don’t mind cooking.
He enjoys running.
He loves riding.

3. Object of a preposition

Ex- I am tired of waiting.
After watching the movie, I wanted to read the book.
He stayed at home instead of going to school.
I’m interested in collecting stamps.
I will call you after arriving at the office.

4. Complement of verb ‘To Be’

To Be – (present) is/ are/ am
(past) was/ were

My favorite hobby is dancing. 
What he really likes is going by bike.
My work is collecting the plates and washing them.
My aim is teaching English in a simpler way.

  • Gerund is also used in compound nouns, like-
    Fryingpan – a pan for frying
    Readingtable- a table for reading
    Walkingstick- a stick for walking
    Here, frying, reading, walking are gerunds.

Gerund vs Present participle

As both the gerund and the present participle end in ‘–ing’, they must be carefully distinguished.

  • The gerund has the force of a Noun and a verb; it is a
    Verbal Noun.
  • The present participle has the force of an adjective and a
    verb; it is a verbal adjective.

For example: She kept me waiting. – present participle
Ex- He don’t like waiting.

(Here the –ing form waiting is the object of the verb like and hence it acts like a noun. It is therefore a gerund.)