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Friday, April 10, 2020

Verb patterns with "gerunds" and "have"---- Gerunds and infinitives as subjects


Verb patterns with "gerunds" and "have"
Verb patterns with "gerunds" and "have"---- Gerunds and infinitives as subjects

Using gerunds in English

The gerund is a word form ending in –ing. Although gerunds are formed from verbs, they are not verbs. In fact, gerunds serve the same purpose as nouns. That means they can be the subject and object of the verb. They can also be the object of a preposition.
Study the examples given below.
 • Smoking is injurious to health. (Here the gerund smoking acts as the subject of the verb.)
 • She enjoys reading. (Here the gerund reading acts as the object of the verb.)
 • She is interested in acting. (Here the gerund acting acts as the object of the preposition in.)
Gerunds are considered as non-finite verbs. They can’t make clauses and their form don’t change when the number and person of the subject changes.
An English verb can exist in different forms. The verbs ‘eat’, ‘drink’, ‘sing’, ‘work’, ‘dance’ and ‘write’ are in their base form.
We make infinitives but putting ‘to’ before the base form of the verb. Examples are: to eat, to drink, to sing, to work, to dance and to write.
Both gerunds and present participles are formed by adding –ing to the verb.
 • Examples are: singing, dancing, working, eating, praying etc.
There is an important difference between gerunds and participles. Participles are used to form continuous tense forms. They can also act as adjectives.
 • I am writing. (Here the present participle ‘writing’ helps form the present continuous tense ‘am writing’.)
 • Barking dogs seldom bite. (Here the present participle ‘barking’ acts as an adjective modifying the noun dogs.)
A gerund is never used as a verb. It acts as a noun or noun equivalent.
 • Trespassing is prohibited.

The gerund is the form of the verb ending in –ing. Note that the present participle also ends in –ing.

👉The gerund is different from the present participle. While the present participle is mainly used as an adjective, the gerund is used as a noun.

👉The present participle is also used to form the continuous tenses.

The gerund can be the subject or object of the verb. It can also be the object of a preposition.

In this lesson, we will review some common verb patterns using the 'gerund'. We will also learn about the causative use of 'have'.

Subject + Verb + Gerund

In this structure the gerund is used as the object of the transitive verb.

👉I enjoy writing.
👉I don’t mind cooking.
👉He prefers walking to riding.
👉I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.
👉She likes reading.
👉I love playing with my kids.

Gerund after prepositions

A gerund is often placed after a preposition. Note that we cannot use an infinitive after a preposition.

Do not use the infinitive with certain words which require a preposition followed by a gerund or an –ing form.

Examples of such words and the preposition that usually go with them are given below:
◆Bent on
He is bent on attending the meeting. (NOT ❌He is bent on to attend the meeting.) (NOT❌ He is bent to attend the meeting.)

◆Desirous of
She is desirous of finding a good job. (NOT She is desirous to find a good job.)

◆Capable of
He is capable of doing it.

◆Chance of
I always knew that we had no chance of succeeding.

◆Aim at
We must aim at reaching the top of the mountain.

◆Assist in
Will you assist me in cleaning the windows?

◆Confident of
I am confident of winning.

◆Addicted to
He is addicted to gambling.

◆Fond of
She is fond of reading detective novels.

◆Prevent from
She prevented me from entering her house.

◆Insist on
She insisted on coming with me.

◆Expert in
He is an expert in making clay idols.

◆Intent on
I intent on visiting my old friends during the Christmas holidays.

◆Refrain from
One must refrain from hurting other people’s sentiments.

◆Excuse somebody for
Excuse me for being late.

◆Succeed in
She succeeded in getting the first prize.


🔹The teacher used a red pen for marking mistakes.
🔹He earns his living by working at a pub.
🔹She is good at singing.
🔹He got married only after getting a good job.
🔹You shouldn’t have left the party without thanking the host.
🔹Are you interested in learning palmistry?

Causative use of ‘have’

Getting something done by somebody else is expressed by the structure have/get + object + past participle.

🔸I must get the computer fixed.
🔸I had my watch repaired.
🔸You must get your hair cut.
🔸She has had her photograph taken.

Gerunds and infinitives as subjects

The subject of a sentence is usually a noun or a pronoun. But sometimes, to-infinitives and –ing forms are also used as subjects.
Study the examples given below.
 • Swimming is a good exercise.
Here the –ing form ‘swimming’ acts as the subject of the verb ‘is’.
More examples are given below.
 • Smoking is injurious to health.
 • Singing gives me great pleasure.
 • Telling lies can get you into deep trouble.
 • Collecting stamps is his hobby.
 • Driving very fast on a busy road may lead to an accident.
In each of the following sentences, the subject is an –ing form.
A to-infinitive can also act as the subject of a verb.
Study the example sentences given below.
 • To err is human.
 • To give advice is easy.
 • To follow this advice may be difficult.
 • To swim in that sea may be dangerous.
 • To drive very fast here is not advisable.
Now study the examples given below. They show another kind of subject a sentence can have.
 • What you say is not true.
 • Where the police have taken him is not known.
 • Why even good people suffer in this world is a great mystery.
As you can see, the subject in each of these sentences is not a word or a phrase, but a group of words which itself looks like a sentence. A group of words of this kind is called a clause. Here the clause functions as a noun and therefore it is called a noun clause.

Thanks for reading Verb patterns with "gerunds" and "have"---- Gerunds and infinitives as subjects

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