Read the following sentence:
- Singing is his hobby.
Here singing is a verb ending in -ing. At the same time it is the subject of the verb is, and hence does function as a noun. Such a form of the verb ending in -ing and used as a noun is called a gerund.
Forms of the gerund
The gerund has different forms.
- I like reading. (Present)
- Who doesn’t love being looked at? (Present passive)
- Having slept for ten hours, I felt great. (Present perfect)
- We are happy about having been invited. (Present perfect, passive)
Uses of the gerund
As the subject of a verb
- Smoking is injurious to health.
- Trespassing is prohibited.
- Reading is his favorite activity.
As subject complement
- My mistake was trusting my boyfriend.
- My favorite activity is reading.
As the object of a verb
- I hate packing.
- He loves driving fast cars.
- I enjoy swimming in the sea.
As the object of a preposition
- I am thinking of writing a novel.
- He is fond of seeing pictures.
- The boy was punished for lying.
- He was arrested for stealing a policeman’s helmet.
In apposition to a noun
- His crime, stealing his master’s watch, was considered serious.
- Our goal, collecting a million dollars for the project, can’t be fulfilled easily.