Gerunds: Gerund Definition with Useful Examples | Gerund Phrase

It can sometimes be hard to grasp the meaning of all the different types of words and just how and when to use them correctly, and gerunds are often one of the harder ones to grasp the meaning of and can be quite confusing at first, but they’re actually pretty simple once you understand them.


Gerund Definition

In a nutshell, a gerund is a word that ends with “-ing”. The word used is initially a verb, but the addition of the “-ing” on the end turns it into a gerund, and this word is then used like a noun.

The gerund can take on a number of roles – it can be the subject of the sentence, the direct object, the object of a preposition, or a subject complement.

Gerund Examples

  • Running is fun.

(Here the gerund is the subject of the sentence and it is formed from the verb “run”.)

  • Flying is scary.

(The gerund is the subject in this sentence, formed from the verb “fly”.)

  • Playing tennis is great.

(Here, the gerund playing is the subject of the sentence, while tennis is the subject complement.)

  • I don’t like working for my new boss.

(In this sentence, the gerund is the object.)

  • Reading helps you learn more.

(The gerund is the subject of the sentence.)

  • I enjoy writing.

(The gerund is the object of the sentence.)

  • Learning is an important thing.

(Here it is a complement.)

  • You’ll get in trouble for cheating in exams.

(In this sentence the gerund is the object of the preposition “for”.)

  • I am thinking of booking a holiday.

(Again, the gerund is the object of a preposition.)

  • I got detention for running in the school corridor.
  • Playing ball with her new puppy is Sally’s favourite game.
  • Reading and writing are essential.

Gerund Phrases

What Is a Gerund Phrase?

Gerund phrases are generally made up of three parts – the gerund, an object, and a modifier. They can help to make your writing less “wordy” and “long-winded” by making your sentences shorter and more interesting.

Gerund Phrase Examples

(Here, eating is the gerundfood is the object, and quickly is the modifier.)

  • Sally kept dropping food for the dog.

(Dropping is the gerundfood is the object, and for the dog is the modifier.)

  • Tom hated waiting for the bus in the rain as last time he caught the flu.

(In this sentence, waiting is the gerundthe bus is the object, and in the rain is the modifier.)

  • Elephants were drinking from the river in front of them.

(Drinking is the gerundthe river is the object, and in front of them is the modifier.)

  • Jack felt nervous about landing the plane in the rain for the first time.
  • Helen loved swimming in the sea with dolphins.
  • Mary was running late for work because she had overslept.
  • I recommend sitting by the fire in the dark as it’s extremely peaceful.
  • Brushing your teeth thoroughly is important for oral health.
  • Sleeping in late in the morning is impossible for me as I have two young children.

Gerunds | Infographic

Gerunds: Gerund Definition with Useful Examples | Gerund PhrasePin

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