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Gerunds

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Gerunds

A gerund is a type of noun, so let’s review what makes a noun first. A noun is a person, place, thing, idea, feeling, or concept. It gives a name to things that will be doing the action provided by the verb. Nouns can be people, places, things, animals, seasons, planets, days, time, and more!

What Is a Gerund?

A Gerund is a noun formed by taking the -ing form of a verb and using it as a noun.

For example,

Reading is my favorite activity.

Reading functions as the subject and noun of this sentence

It’s quite easy to form a gerund with the ending -ING. Almost any verb can become a gerund with this ending.

What are some examples of gerunds?

In the chart below, you can see some common gerunds and what their root word is, along with an example of them in a sentence:
Gerund Root Word Example Sentence
bakingbakeBaking is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen.
teachingteachMrs. Noto said that teaching music is her destiny.
runningrunYou have to be good at running to join Cross Country.
tastingtasteTasting desserts is an essential part of being a chef.
typingtypeTyping skills are essential for writing papers in school.

Where Can I Find Gerunds?

There are several places you can find gerunds lurking in a sentence. Just remember that anywhere a noun or a form of a noun can be found, so can a gerund, including direct objects and complements.

Here are two tips to help you find them:

  • Activities are usually gerunds when you use them as a subject. Skiing, painting, driving, surfing…these are all gerunds when you talk about them as an activity.
  • After a preposition. Gerunds are almost always found there. Usually it’s after the preposition “of” as in My grandmother is scared of falling. In this case, “falling” is a gerund following the preposition “of.”

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