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Using Gerunds

Using Gerunds

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Published by Ani Eqizyan

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Published by: Ani Eqizyan on Oct 16, 2011
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10/16/2011

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GERUNDS
(Verb + -ing)Example: Learning can be fun. _____________________________________________________________ 
1.MEANING AND USE
A gerund is a form of a verb that is used in place of a noun or a pronoun. Agerund has the same function as a noun or a pronoun in that it names something; in thecase of a gerund, it names an
activity
that is usually expressed by a verb. A gerund canfunction as a subject of a sentence, as an object of a preposition, or as the object of averb.
A gerund may be used as the subject of a sentence.
A subject gerund is used instatements such as opinions or for listing activities.
 Examples:
 
Walking 
is good for your heart. ESL students learn 4 important skills:
listening 
 ,
 speaking 
 ,
reading 
 , and 
writing 
.
A gerund may be the object of a preposition.
 Example:
 
The student is good 
 
at 
speaking 
.A prepositional phrase beginning with
by
followed by a gerund explains how todo something.
 Example:
You can model functional language for students by
 speaking 
 naturally.
Some combinations of prepositions or prepositional phrases followed by gerundsgive
alternatives
.
 Example:
Instead of 
 speaking 
 , the students ought to be listening.
A gerund may be the object of a verb.
 Verbs and phases used to express likes, dislikes, and feelings may be followed byobject gerunds.
 Example:
Elena enjoys
 playing 
basketball.
Object gerunds used in expressions related to recreational activities are frequently preceded by the verb
 go.
 Example:
Do you ever go
 snowboarding 
?
“Would you mind,” a common phrase used to express polite requests, may befollowed by an object gerund.
 Example:
Would you mind 
opening 
the door for me?
2.FORM OF THE GRAMMA
To form a gerund, -ing is added to the simple form of the verb.
 Example:
talk + ing =
talking 
Copyright © Tacoma Community College Writing Center
 
Certain spelling rules must be followed to form gerunds:a.For most verbs, a gerund is formed by adding –ing to the simple form of the verb.
 Examples:
walk – 
walking 
 , read – 
reading 
  b.If the simple form of the verb ends in a single “e,” a gerund is formed by droppingthe “e” and adding –ing.
 Examples:
exercise – 
exercising 
 , drive – 
driving 
 
c.If the simple form of the verb ends in “ie,” a gerund is formed by changing the“ie” to “y” and adding –ing.
 Examples
: tie
 ying 
 , vie – 
vying 
 
d.If the simple form of a one-syllable verb ends with a single vowel + consonant, agerund is formed by doubling the final consonant and adding –ing.
 Examples:
shop – 
 shopping 
 , swim – 
swimming 
 e.If the simple form of a verb with 2 or more syllables ends in a single vowel +consonant, a gerund is formed by doubling the final consonant only if the stress is on thefinal syllable.
 Examples
: commit – 
committing 
(stress is on second syllable), combat – 
combating 
(stress is on first syllable)
 Note: The final “l” is doubled in British English (travel – travelling), but not in American English (travel – traveling).f.If the simple form of the verb ends in “x,” “w,” or “z,” the final consonant is
not 
doubled when adding –ing.
 Examples:
box – 
boxing 
 , tow – towing, fly – 
 flying 
 
A gerund can be one word or a phrase.
 Examples
: I enjoy
 swimming 
. I don’t enjoy
 painting my house
.
A gerund is always singular and acts like a noncount noun.
A gerund takes a singular verb and can be replaced by the pronoun
it.
 Example:
I enjoy
 swimming 
. I enjoy
it 
.
A gerund can be positive or negative; a negative gerund is formed by adding theword
not 
 before the gerund.
 Example:
 
 Not walking 
every day would be unhealthy for me.
Many verbs are followed by gerunds, but may not be followed by infinitives (suchas appreciate, avoid, consider, delay, deny, dislike, enjoy, finish, go, imagine, keep mind)
 Example:
Have you considered 
taking 
a vacation when our class ends?
Many common verbs with prepositions may be followed by a gerund, but not aninfinitive (such as approve of, believe in, look forward to, talk about, think about, worryabout).
 Example:
Do you ever think about 
taking 
a vacation?
Many phrases ending in prepositions are
 BE + adjective expressions
and may befollowed by a gerund but not an infinitive.
 Examples:
 ESL students are accustomed to
learning 
grammar.
 
The student is nervous about 
 speaking 
in front of the class.
Some prepositions that occur with gerunds are frequently found at the beginningor the ending of a sentence (i.e. after, before, besides, by, in, in addition to, instead of,without).
 Examples:
 Before
 sleeping 
 , I like to have a snack.I will read a book instead of 
watching 
TV.
3.POTENTIAL PROBLEMS STUDENTS MAY HAVE
Meaning and Use:
 
Students may use an infinitive when they ought to use a
Copyright © Tacoma Community College Writing Center

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