Grammar 09 - Gerunds
"My friend's daily routine is diving exercises." Can you spot the gerund in this sentence?

Grammar 09 - Gerunds

We have often come across words such as SWIMMING, SINGING, or WRITING. These words are formed from SWIM, SING and WRITE by adding ‘ING’. Words that are formed by adding ‘ING’ to other words are known as gerunds.

Did you notice something else about the words? They are basically verbs transformed into gerunds by adding ‘ing’. Despite this, gerunds have the character of nouns when used in sentences. One difference, though, is that gerunds do not have distinct plural forms.

Gerunds are one kind of non-finite verb, the others being infinitives and participles. It is possible to use gerunds in many situations, for example:

  • Gerunds are used after certain verbs – "He came RUNNING."
  • Gerunds can be used after a preposition – "He was accused of SMUGGLING."
  • Gerunds are often used as a complement to a verb – "They enjoy DANCING."
  • Gerunds are also used as a complement to the subject – "His uncle’s favourite activity is READING."
  • Gerunds can also be used as a direct object – "They enjoyed his SINGING."
  • Gerunds are used as a subject – "DRINKING is injurious to health."
  • Gerunds can also be made negative by adding ‘not’. For instance ‘He enjoys NOT SMOKING’.

Take the quiz that follows and understand what gerunds are all about.

1.
In which sentence is the gerund DIVING used after a verb?
She went DIVING.
DIVING is good for a lean body.
Spectators enjoyed her DIVING.
My friend's daily routine is DIVING exercises.
In answer 2, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 3, the gerund is used as a direct object. In answer 4, the gerund is used as a complement to the subject
2.
In which sentence is the gerund COLLECTING used as a complement to the subject?
He was accused of COLLECTING.
Her favourite pastime is COLLECTING stamps.
The tramp came COLLECTING.
COLLECTING is not good for the image.
In answer 1, the gerund is used after a preposition. In answer 3, the gerund is used after a verb. In answer 4, the gerund is used as a subject
3.
In which sentence is the gerund SMOKING used as a subject?
SMOKING is injurious to health.
I enjoy my SMOKING.
My uncle's favourite activity is SMOKING cigarettes.
He enjoys SMOKING.
In answer 2, the gerund is used as a direct object. In answer 3, the gerund is used as a complement to the subject. In answer 4, the gerund is used as a complement to the verb
4.
In which sentence is the gerund DANCING used as a complement to a verb?
He came DANCING.
DANCING is good for the body.
They love DANCING.
He was accused of DANCING.
In answer 1, the gerund is used after a verb. In answer 2, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 4, the gerund is used after a preposition
5.
In which sentence is the gerund CLIMBING used as a complement to a verb?
The mountaineer went CLIMBING.
CLIMBING is good for the mountaineer's health.
My adventurous niece's pastime is CLIMBING mountains.
Mountaineers enjoy CLIMBING.
In answer 1, the gerund is used after a verb. In answer 2, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 3, the gerund is used as a complement to the subject
6.
In which sentence is the gerund BATTING used as a direct object?
BATTING is good for the bowler to learn.
Virat Kohli's favourite activity is BATTING.
They relished my BATTING.
Sachin Tendulkar enjoys BATTING.
In answer 1, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 2, the gerund is used as a direct object. In answer 4, the gerund is used as a complement to a verb
7.
In which sentence is the gerund WALKING used after a verb?
He came WALKING.
WALKING is excellent for health.
My aunt enjoys WALKING.
My aunt was guilty of WALKING.
In answer 2, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 3, the gerund is used as a complement to a verb. In answer 4, the gerund is used after a preposition
8.
In which sentence is the gerund SINGING used as a direct object?
Her passionate vocation is SINGING songs.
They enjoy SINGING.
He was accused of SINGING.
They appreciated my SINGING.
In answer 1, the gerund is used as a complement to the subject. In answer 2, the gerund is used as a complement to the verb. In answer 3, the gerund is used after a preposition
9.
In which sentence is the gerund DRINKING used as a complement to the subject?
My uncle enjoys DRINKING.
My uncle's dirty habit is DRINKING alcohol.
My uncle is accused of DRINKING.
DRINKING is injurious to health.
In answer 1, the gerund is used as a complement to a verb. In answer 3, the gerund is used after a proposition. In answer 4, the gerund is used as a subject
10.
In which sentence is the gerund STEALING used after a preposition?
Thieves came STEALING.
STEALING is bad for the economy.
His friends celebrated his STEALING.
He was indicted for STEALING.
In answer 1, the gerund is used after a verb. In answer 2, the gerund is used as a subject. In answer 3, the gerund is used as a direct object
Author:  V T Narendra

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