Lesson Eighteen Gerunds

Lesson Eighteen Gerunds

Lesson Eighteen

Gerunds

Gerunds, like infinitives, look like verbs, but they actually function as nouns. Consider the following sentences:

  • I like going to the beach. (“like” is the verb; “going” is the gerund.)
  • Playing volleyball at the beach is fun. (“Playing” is the gerund and functions as the subject.)
  • I like eating cold pizza. (“like” is the verb; “eating” is the gerund.)

Gerunds are often confused with verbs. Because gerunds take an “ing” ending, some students mistake them for verbs in the continuous form. If you don’t see the verb “be” in front of a word with an “ing” ending, it’s probably a gerund. For example, which sentence has a gerund?:

  1. He thinks that learning English is important for his career.
  2. This morning, they’re meeting their friends at the airport.

If you said the first sentence, you’re correct! The second sentence is in the present continuous tense.

The second video at the bottom of this page can provide you with more help in understanding the difference between gerunds and verbs that appear in continuous tenses.

Watch this video:

examples

I like listening to the radio.

(Gerunds are often used after the verb “like.”)

radio
He likes eating popcorn when he goes to see a movie.
popcorn

Playing in the snow is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

(Gerunds commonly appear at the beginning of a sentence. They are easier to use than infinitives in this position.)

playing in snow

Drinking coffee in the morning is one of my favorite things to do.

morning

He finds playing the guitar to be relaxing.

guitar

Now do you understand the differences between gerunds and infinitives?

If not, go back to Lesson Seventeen

One more thing: Don’t confuse gerunds with the present continuous tense!

Exercise 

Part A.
Directions: In each sentence, change the infinitive to a gerund.
example: It’s easy to get lost in here.
Getting lost in here is easy.
1. It’s hard to learn English.
__________________________________________________
2. It’s necessary to do a good job.
_________________________________________________
3. It will take a long time to drive to New York.
_________________________________________________
4. It wasn’t a good idea to eat all that ice cream.
_________________________________________________
5. It feels wrong to take her money for so little work.
_________________________________________________
6. It won’t hurt to work a few extra hours today.
_________________________________________________
7. It’s crucial to get this into the mail today.
_________________________________________________
8. It will be fun to see them.
__________________________________________________
9. It was painful to watch them lose the game.
__________________________________________________
10.It didn’t take long to fly to Chicago.
_________________________________________________
Part B.
Directions: In each sentence, change the gerund to an infinitive.
example: Riding a bike without a helmet is not safe.
It’s not safe to ride a bike without a helmet.
1. Learning how to cook is easy.
___________________________________________________
2. Working long hours is common in the United States.
____________________________________________________
3. Fishing in the summer is fun.
____________________________________________________
4. Shopping for groceries without a list is a bad idea.
____________________________________________________
5. Driving without a seat belt feels kind of strange to me.
____________________________________________________
6. Waking up early in the morning is good for you.
___________________________________________________
7. Saving money for the future is necessary.
___________________________________________________
8. Helping someone learn another language takes time.
___________________________________________________
9. Carrying too much weight hurts your body.
___________________________________________________
10. Listening to music is fun.
___________________________________________________

Congratulations!!!


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