Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov


The gerund in English

школа английского языка

There is no direct correspondence to the gerund in Russian, but there are usually no great difficulties in understanding its formation and use rules. Today we will tell you this verb form main features.

What is a gerund and how is it formed

Gerund is verb in English a form that combines both a noun and a verb feature at the same time. It can be compared to verbal nouns in Russian: walking (прогулка), running (бегание).

The gerund is formed simply by adding the ending –ing to the verb base.

There are some rules to follow.

  • if the verb in the indefinite form ends in –e, it is omitted when adding ing: make → making (делать);
  • if the verb ends in –ie, it is changed to –y before -ing: lie → lying (лежать);
  • the last consonant after a stressed syllable is doubled before -ing: sit → sitting (сидеть), begin →beginning (начинать);
  • the letter l is always doubled, the preceding stress regardless: travel → travelling (путешествовать).

However, Participle I and some nouns also have the ending -ing. How can you not get confused? Participle I only have a verb characteristic; a noun means a process, and a gerund combines a noun and a verb characteristics and means a process. In addition, unlike a noun, a gerund does not have an ending; an article does not precede it or a pronoun. She is good at painting. — Она хорошо рисует (она хороша в рисовании, герундий).

This painting is beautiful. — Эта картина прекрасна (существительное).

When she is painting, she forgets everything. — Когда она рисует, она забывает обо всем (Participle I).

To put a gerund in the negative form, simply add the particle not in it front.

He apologized very much for not coming on time. — Он очень извинялся за то, что не пришел вовремя.

The gerund forms

In English, the gerund can be in two forms: Simple and Perfect. Moreover, it can be used in both the active and the passive voice. The most common usage is the Simple Active Gerund.

The gerund formThe active voiceThe passive voice
Simple Gerunddoingbeing done
He likes visiting different exhibitions. — Он любит посещать различные выставкиHe likes being visited by his friends. — Он любит, когда его посещают друзья
Perfect Gerundhaving donehaving been done
He is happy of having visited this exhibition. — Он счастлив, что посетил эту выставкуHe is happy of having been visited by his friends. — Он счастлив, что его посетили друзья

The gerund functions in a sentence

Being something in between a noun and a verb, a gerund can take on various functions in a sentence.

1. Subject.

Watching movies is my favorite activity on weekends. — Просмотр фильмов — мое любимое занятие по выходным.

2. A compound predicate nominal part.

My mother’s business is baking and selling cakes. — Бизнес моей матери — выпечка и продажа тортов.

3. Addition.

I like singing when I’m alone. — Я люблю петь, когда я одна (прямое дополнение).

She is fond of walking in the forest in the rain. — Она без ума от прогулок в лесу под дождем (prepositional addition).

4. Circumstances.

A circumstance can be translated by a noun, a verb in a personal form, or an adverbial participle. The circumstance may be the time, the action mode. After having come home; I decided to call my mother. — Придя домой, я решил позвонить маме (обстоятельство времени).

5. Definition.

They don’t like your way of constantly interrupting everyone. — Им не нравится ваша манера постоянно всех перебивать.

When the gerund is used

Gerund is used after verbs and adjectives, a number with prepositions. There are exceptions and use special rules. You can learn them (basic examples), or you can save the following lists and use them as a cheat sheet, memorizing them gradually.

1. Verbs after which only the gerund is used

For convenience, we have combined them into several semantic groups:

  • нравится / не нравится — to enjoy (наслаждаться), to dislike (не любить), to (not) mind (не/ возражать), to fancy (хотеть);
  • opinion, ideas expression — to deny (отрицать), to admit (признавать), to consider (считать), to recommend (рекомендовать), to support (поддерживать);
  • the beginning, ending or continuing action expression — to keep (продолжать), to finish (заканчивать), to give up (сдаваться);
  • sports activities, hobbies with the verb go — to go shopping (пойти за покупками), to go fishing (пойти на рыбалку).

He admitted not reading books and said that he decided to go fishing instead. — Он признался, что не читает книги, и сказал, что вместо этого решил пойти на рыбалку.

2. Gerund after verbs with prepositions:to thank for — благодарить за;

  • to blame for — винить за;
  • to think of — думать о;
  • to depend on — зависеть от;
  • to complain of — жаловаться на;
  • to hear of — слышать о;
  • to dream of — мечтать о;
  • to insist on — настаивать на;
  • to take up — начинать делать;
  • to accuse of — обвинять в;
  • to suspect of — подозревать в;
  • to congratulate on — поздравлять с;
  • to prevent from — предотвращать от;
  • to look forward to — предвкушать, с нетерпением ждать;
  • to succeed in — преуспевать в;
  • to carry on — продолжать;
  • to keep from — удерживаться от;
  • to praise for — хвалить за.

I am looking forward to going on my vacation trip. — Я с нетерпением жду поездки в отпуск.

3. Герундий после конструкции to be + причастие / прилагательное:

  • to be afraid of — бояться чего-либо;
  • to be engaged in — быть занятым чем-либо;
  • to be proud of — гордиться чем-либо;
  • to be interested in — интересоваться чем-либо;
  • to be tired of — уставать от чего-либо;
  • to be good at – быть способным к.

He’s tired of working so hard and coming home late at night. — Он устал так много работать и возвращаться домой поздно ночью.

4. Verbs, after which both the gerund and the infinitive can be used

We will talk in detail about the infinitive in a separate topic, the main external difference between the infinitive and the gerund are in the verb form formation. In the first case, it is an indefinite form, as presented in the dictionary, and in the second — with the ending -ing.

After verbs to begin (начинать), to intend (намереваться), to continue (продолжать), to prefer (предпочитать), to bother (беспокоить), to start (начинать), to hate (ненавидеть), to like (любить) there will be no difference in the infinitive and gerund values.She began crying / to cry. — Она начала плакать.

But there are verbs a number when a gerund or infinitive use after them will seriously affect the meaning:

  • to forget + Inf = забыть, что нужно было сделать, + Ger = забыть сделанное;
  • to remember + Inf = помнить, что нужно сделать, + Ger = помнить сделанное;
  • to try + Inf = пытаться сделать, часто безуспешно, + Ger = пробовать разные способы;
  • to regret + Inf = сообщать о чем-то с сожалением, + Ger = сожалеть о сделанном;
  • to stop + Inf = остановиться, чтобы сделать, + Ger = перестать что-то делать.

He stopped crying. — Он перестал плакать.

He stopped to put on his hat. — Он остановился, чтобы надеть шляпу.

The topic is not easy, but with care and a little diligence, you will understand it.

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