- Smoking is injurious to health.
- I like shooting.
Grammar notesNote that a gerund is used like a noun. But when there is a noun which has a similar meaning to an -ing form, the noun is preferred.
- We are waiting for his arrival. (NOT We are waiting for his arriving.)
Forms of the gerundNote the structure of present, perfect, passive and negative –ing forms.
- I like shooting. (present)
- He does not like being seen in her company. (passive)
- She loves being looked at. (passive)
- He was charged with having committed arson. (perfect)
- He complained of having been tortured by the police. (perfect passive)
- Not knowing what to do, she went home. (negative)
- Flying makes me sick. (subject)
- Trespassing is prohibited. (subject)
- We don't allow smoking in our house. (object)
- My favourite activity is reading. (complement)
- Our mistake was trusting him. (complement)
- I don’t believe in buying wine as an investment. (object of a preposition)
Gerund with its own objectA gerund can have its own object.
- Smoking is injurious to .
- Smoking cigarettes is injurious to health. (The noun cigarette is the object of the gerund smoking.)
- I love reading.
- I love novels. (Novels is the object of reading)
- Killing foxes is a horrible pastime.
- I love driving a fast car.
- The killing of foxes is a horrible pastime. (NOT The killing foxes …)
- The smoking of cigarettes is injurious to health. (NOT The smoking cigarettes …)
- The climbing of mountains is a good sport. (NOT The climbing mountains …)
Object pronouns before –ing formsand are often used with –ing forms.
- They insisted on my resigning the post.
- Does my smoking annoy you?
- I don't mind your coming late.
- I hate all this useless arguing.
- There is no hope of his arriving on time.
- She was angry at John’s trying to lie to her.
- They insisted on me resigning the post.
- She was angry at John trying to lie to her.
- We were shocked at President Kennedy being assassinated. (NOT Kennedy’s …)
- There is no danger of the roof crashing. (NOT roof’s)
- There is no hope of the fog lifting for another hour. (NOT fog’s)
- I saw him running out of the room. (NOT I saw his …)
It as a preparatory subjectWhen the subject is a phrase that includes a gerund, 'it' is often used as a preparatory subject to begin the sentence.
- It is nice talking to you. (= Talking to you is nice.)
- It is no good your trying to deceive us. (=Your trying to deceive us is no good.)
- Is it any good my talking to him?
- It is no use trying to convince them.
- It is no fun being shot.
- Is it worth complaining about his conduct?
- It is no use waiting.
- Is it worth talking to him?