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The Gerund – English Study Material & Notes

HomeNewsBreaking NewsThe Gerund – English Study Material & Notes

The Gerund – English Study Material & Notes


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A Gerund is that particular form of the verb which ends in ‘-ing’ and has the effect of a noun and a verb. they are also known as ‘verbal noun’ or ‘verb-noun’.

Since both infinitive and gerund have the force of a noun and a verb, they have similar uses. Hence, in majority of the sentences, either of them can be used without a special difference in meaning. For instance;

Teach me to drive. or

Teach me driving.

Let us first understand a gerund, consider the following example;

Reading is her favorite pastime. (Here the word ‘reading’ is formed by the verb ‘read’ and ‘-ing’)

Gerunds, like infinitives are used as nouns, while still retaining the power that a verb has of governing another noun or pronoun.

Compound Gerund: are formed by placing a past participle after the Gerunds of ‘have’ and ‘be’. For instance;

I heard of her having gained a prize.

She is desirous of being praised.

Difference between Past participle and Gerund:

Since both Past Participle and the Gerund end with ‘-ing’, it is essential to distinguish between them. The Past Participle has the force of an Adjective and a Verb, while a Gerund has the force of a noun and a verb.

Example of Gerund: – He is fond of playing cricket.

Example of Past Participle: – Playing cricket, he gained health.

Uses of Gerund:

A gerund is a verbal noun, hence it may be used in the following five major ways:

1. Use of Gerund as the subject of a verb. Consider the following example;

Seeing is believing.

Hunting tiger is not allowed in this country.

2. A Gerund is used as the object of a transitive verb. Such as the following instance;

Stop crying.

I like reading prose.

She contemplated marrying her cousin.

3. The Gerund is used as the object of a preposition, as shown in the following examples below;

I am tired of playing.

She is fond of swimming.

She was punished for telling a lie.

I have an aversion to skating.

We were prevented from seeing the patient.

4. A Gerund is also used as a complement to a verb, to explain more about the verb. For instance;

What I most detest is smoking.

5. The Gerund is used absolutely, as explained in the following example:

Playing cards being her aversion, we did not play poker.

Rules for Gerunds:

The noun or pronoun preceding Gerund should always be in the Possessive case. For example;

My teacher got angry on my reading late in class.

He left for London without my knowing.

There are some verbs which are directly followed by a gerund. These are – avoid, escape, defer, detest, dislike, enjoy, finish, resist, mind, risk, resent, mind, practice, etc. Study the following examples carefully to understand this rule.

I could not resist laughing at his silly acrobats.

We won’t escape paying income tax.

Have you finished writing the book?

Rules for Prepositions 

A preposition is defined as a word which is placed before a noun or a pronoun or a noun equivalent to show some relationship between that and some other word present in the sentence.

For instance;

  • John gave a lecutre on socialism.
  • The award is given tohim.
  • Her objection is to what all you say.

The italicised words are known as prepositions because they generally take position before(pre) a noun.The preposition is understood to govern the noun which follows it. The ‘object’ of the preposition is the noun.

Moving on from single word prepositions, there are also phrases which perform the work of prepositions. They are called ‘Phrase Prepositions’. Therefore, to sum up the type of prepositions:

  1. Single word prepositions :simple prepositions [on, in, at, after, with, above, under, etc.]
  2. Phrase Prepositions : Complex prepositions

Complex Prepositions are formed by following major ways:

  1. Verb/adjective/conjunction + preposition [except for, due to, because of, owing to, but for, etc.]
  2. Adverb + preposition [apart from, along with, on to, away from, as for, out of, upto, such as, together with, etc.]
  3. Preposition + noun + preposition [on account of, in comparison with, by means of, in view of, in accordance with, instead of, in spite of, etc.]

P.S. Under certain circumstances, it becomes necessary to end a sentence with a preposition. English grammar has the flexibility to allow for that. Take the following example to understand the point;

  • This is the girl I gave the book to.
  • This is the hospital that I was born in.

Rules for Prepositions:

1. A preposition is placed at the end of a sentence in either of the following ways:

  • When a relative pronoun is understood in the sentence.  [This is the girl you spoke to.]
  • When the relative pronoun in a sentence is ‘that’. [ Here is the pencil that you are looking for.]
  • If a preposition governs an interrogative pronoun or an interrogative adverb, it is placed at the end of sentence. [What are you looking at? ]
  • If a preposition governs a relative pronoun, then it is placed at the end of sentence. [ This is the teacher whom I spoke about.]
  • When the preposition is used with the infinitive that is placed at the end of sentence. [ Do you have a place to sit on?]

2. Some words with prepositions can take the gerund as well as the infinitives. For instance;

  • She is afraid of going out alone at night.
  • She is afraid to go out alone at night.

3. A preposition can be used at the beginning of an interrogative sentence. For instance,

  • To whom are you referring?
  • In which country do yo live?

4. Prepositions [from, since, for] are used with reference to time. More specifically, [from, since] indicate a point of time. And [for] indicates a period or length of time. For instance;

  • I have not seen her since March..
  • I have not seen her from March.
  • I have not seen him for seven months.

5. The verbs which are placed immediately after prepositions are written usually in gerund form. For instance;

  • Jacob insisted on buying a computer.
  • He left the hotel without paying the bill.

These are the major rules pertaining to the use of prepositions. We hope these short notes centered around rules for correct use of prepositions are helpful for students who want to revise the subject prior too exams. If you found this post helpful, tell us in the comments below. Thank you for visiting!

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