Gerunds are funny — they look like verbs, they sound like verbs, but they’re not verbs — they’re nouns! SpSpecificallyecifically, gerunds are action-oriented verbs that function as nouns. This always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb), so it can be used: As the subject of the sentence:
Eating people is wrong.
Can you sneeze without opening your mouth?
She is good at painting
After certain verbs,
e.g. like, hate, admit, imagine
In compound nouns,
e.g. a driving lesson, a swimming pool, bird-watching, train-spotting
What's the difference between a Gerund and a Participle?
A Gerund is a verb form used as a noun whilst a Participle is a verb form used as an adjective. Gerund
: A verbal noun in Latin that expresses generalized or uncompleted action : Any of several linguistic forms analogous to the Latin gerund in languages other than Latin; especially : the English verbal noun in -ing that has the function of a substantive and at the same time shows the verbal features of tense, voice, and capacity to take adverbial qualifiers and to govern objects : A Gerund is a verb and noun combined. eg: "I think of retiring soon from business."
Retiring is a verb, being part of the verb retire. It is also a noun, because it is object to the preposition 'of.
a word having the characteristics of both verb and adjective; especially : an English verbal form that has the function of an adjective and at the same time shows such verbal features as tense and voice and capacity to take an object : A Participle is a verb and adjective combined. eg: "A retired officer lives next door." or "She was killed by a falling tile." Retired is a verb, being part of the verb to retire. It is also an adjective, because it qualifies the noun 'officer'. Falling is a verb, since it is part of the verb to fall, but it is also an adjective in that it qualifies the noun 'tile'. Hence a participle may be called a verbal adjective.
Usage of Gerund in English Language
This looks exactly the same as a present participle, and for this reason it is now common to call both forms 'the -ing form'. However it is useful to understand the difference between the two. The gerund always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb),also known as ‘verbal noun’ so it can be used: a. As the subject of the sentence:
Eating people is wrong.
Hunting tigers is dangerous.
Flying makes me nervous.
b. As the complement of the verb 'to be':
One of his duties is attending meetings.
The hardest thing about learning English is understanding the gerund. One of life's pleasures is having breakfast in bed.
c. After prepositions. The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition: Can you sneeze without opening your mouth?
She is good at painting.
They're keen on windsurfing.
She avoided him by walking on the opposite side of the road. We arrived in Madrid after driving all night.
My father decided against postponing his trip to Hungary.
This is also true of certain expressions ending in a preposition, e.g. in spite of, there's no point in..: There's no point in waiting.
In spite of missing the train, we arrived on time.
d. After a number of 'phrasal verbs' which are composed of a verb + preposition/adverb Example:
to look forward to, to give up, to be for/against, to take to, to put off, to keep on: I look forward to hearing from you soon. (at the end of a letter) When are you going to give up smoking?
She always puts off going to the dentist.
He kept on asking for money.
There are some phrasal verbs and other expressions that include the word 'to' as a preposition, not as part of a to-infinitive: - to look forward to, to take to, to be accustomed to, to be used to. It is...