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How to use gerund (the -ing form) in English

The -ing form of a verb is called "the gerund". There are just three rules of using the gerund:

Use the gerund (verb + ing) as the subject of the sentence

Examples:
Eating outside makes me feel good. (subject of the sentence)
Swimming is always a pleasure for me. (subject of the sentence)
Studying English is very popular in Vietnam. (subject of the sentence)
Smoking is bad for your health. (subject of the sentence)

Use the gerund (verb + ing) after some verbs

Examples:
Have you finished studying the gerund? (after some verbs)
I enjoy reading in bed. (after some verbs)
I dislike having dinner with my wife’s family. (after some verbs)
I feel like singing. (after some verbs)
I have just finished cleaning the house. (after some verbs)
He keeps on talking in the class. (after some verbs)
I don’t mind helping him. (after some verbs)
I practice speaking English every day. (after some verbs)
My wife spends hours talking on the phone. (after some verbs)
I hate going to school. (after some verbs)
I like having lunch in the garden. (after some verbs)
I love waking up on a sunny morning. (after some verbs)
I started building this house last year. (after some verbs)
Hey, please stop talking. (after some verbs)

Use the gerund (verb + ing) after prepositions

Examples:
I am thinking of buying a bigger house. (after prepositions)
He left without saying good bye. (after prepositions)

Note:
“Help” can be used with the infinitive and base form with no difference in meaning. (Example: He helped me to move vs. He helped me move)
“Start” can be use with both infinitive and verb + ing with no difference in meaning. (Example: It started raining vs. It started to rain)
“Try”, “remember”, and “stop” (“stop” with infinitive) can be used with infinitive form and verb + ing but the meaning is different.
“Hate”, “like” and “love” can be used with the infinitive and verb +ing with no difference in meaning. (Example: I like to play tennis vs. I like playing tennis)


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