English Grammar – 6 Ways to Use Gerunds

English Grammar – 6 Ways to Use Gerunds

Hi guys, I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and
welcome to this lesson on gerunds. Now, in this lesson, we’re going to look at all the
various functions that a gerund can have in a sentence. So before we begin that, we should
understand what a gerund is and how a gerund is formed. If you look at the title, you can
see that a gerund is basically a verb plus “ing”. So, what is it? Is it a verb? Is it a noun?
Well, it’s actually a verbal noun which means that while it looks like a verb
– like for example: in the first sentence we have: “running” -, it can perform the same
functions as a noun. So think of it as a verbal noun, leaning more towards the noun part. Okay?
So let’s look at the six ways that we can use a gerund. The top one says: “Running is good for your heart.” Now, as
we’ve identified, “running” is the gerund. And in this situation, “running” is clearly the
subject of the sentence. Right? So a gerund can be the subject of a sentence. Just like a noun.
Right? So “running”, “running” is what you’re talking about; the activity of running.
You follow it with a verb: “is”, “good for your heart”. Okay?
So in the second one we say: “He hates waking up early.” Now, what is the gerund?
The gerund is “waking”, it’s actually a complete thought here: “waking up”. In which
position of the sentence is the gerund in this sentence? So we have “he” which is the
subject, we have “hates” which is the verb, and then he has to hate something. Right?
So, in this situation, what he hates is the object, just like a noun; it can be “pizza”
or anything else here. Think of it as a noun. Okay, number three: “What I hate
most is repeating myself.” So what is the subject of this sentence? Is it:
“What I”, is it: “What I hate”, “What I hate most”, “What I hate most is”? Well, the complete
subject is: “What I hate most” and “is”, and we have the gerund here: “repeating myself”,
so saying the same thing again and again. Now, in this situation, the gerund is not
actually an object because the subject is not doing anything to the gerund. You’re just
giving more information about the subject. So: “What I hate most” and then you’re actually
telling me what you hate most; you’re giving more information about it. So what you’re doing
is providing a subject complement. Okay? Okay. Now, the next one: “I saw Jim riding his bike.” So you’re probably
getting the idea of a pattern developing here. First, let’s identify the gerund. The gerund is: “riding”.
Okay, now let’s look at the sentence. We have “I” which is the subject,
“saw” — the verb, “Jim”. “I saw Jim”, okay, “Jim” is the object. Okay, now you’re giving
more information about Jim’s actions here though. “I saw Jim”: what was he doing? He
was: “riding his bike”. So in this situation, the gerund is giving more information about
the object’s action. So in this situation it’s an object complement. Okay?
Sorry for my writing there. And number five – a very, very common way
to use gerunds and a very important rule, especially for intermediate and advanced speakers:
“I’m interested in improving myself.” In getting better. So we have: “improving” as the gerund.
Now, why are we using the gerund? Why can’t we say: “I am interested in improve” or: “I
am interested in to improve”? Well, any time you have a preposition – and normally we have
lots and lots of adjective and proposition combinations – after the preposition, always use a gerund.
So a gerund can be the object of a preposition. Now, more examples of this
are: “I am excited about doing something.”, “I am used to doing something.” Okay? So
it can be the object of a preposition. And finally, this is a rule which is often
forgotten and you can actually check out a deeper explanation of it on www.engvid.com:
“She doesn’t like your bossing her around.” So we have “bossing”, this means telling a
person what to do. Okay? So: “She doesn’t like your bossing her around.” Here we’re
using “your”, we’re using a possessive. So in this situation, a gerund is actually the
object of a possessive pronoun. Okay? So it can be the object of a possessive.
There we go. So, as you can see, there are numerous ways
that we can use a gerund. It’s not just a simple type of word with only one function;
it has a variety of functions in a variety of ways we can use it in
different parts of a sentence. Now, do not confuse, never confuse a gerund
with a continuous verb. So if I say: “She is running.” Okay, I am describing her action
in the moment. “Running” is not a gerund. “Running” is a continuous verb in this situation. Okay?
So that is really the most common confusion. Don’t confuse a gerund for a continuous verb.
Remember: it’s a verbal noun. It can perform the same functions as any noun like:
“pizza”, “table”, “car”, etc. So once more: a gerund can be the subject of a sentence.
For example: “Smoking is bad for you.” “Smoking” is the subject. It can
be the object of the sentence like we have here: “He hates…” what does he hate? “Waking
up early.” It can be a subject complement. “What I hate most is repeating myself.” Another
example of this might be: “My favourite activity is hiking”, for example. “I saw Jim riding his
bike.” Object complement. “I’m interested in improving myself.” So it can be the object
of a preposition. Right? So any time you have a preposition like: “in”, “at”, “on”, “by”,
“against”, “with”. Okay? “ing”, “ing”, “ing”. And finally, it can be the object of a possessive.
So: “She doesn’t like your bossing her around.” Or this can even be something simple like:
“I don’t like her cooking.” Okay? So you’re not describing her activity, you’re describing
the thing, her cooking. Or I can say: “Your speaking”, or: “Your listening”,
“Your writing needs to improve.” Okay guys, to test your understanding of this
knowledge, as always, you can check out the quiz on www.engvid.com. Take care, and good luck.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. See ya.


  • Gerrard

    February 25, 2019

    Number 4 is noT PARTICIPLE?

  • Ирина Ватолина

    March 1, 2019

    Hi Alex. Thank you very much for your inspirational lessons. Could you please explain me the difference between active adjective participles and gerund as an object complement? It looks the same for me, especially in this example: I saw Jim riding his bike. Sometimes for example I try to use a gerund, using its perfect form, but it appears that I should not. That means I don’t understand the gerund and following a verb with another verb does not always suppose using a gerund or am I wrong?

  • Tiago Marciano

    March 6, 2019


  • Просто Мойше

    March 11, 2019

    Why do you use " I'm insterested " instead of " I'm interesting " ?? Does the the subject of the sentence is interested in past only ?

  • cool 24bar7

    March 19, 2019

    Thanks a lot sir!

  • fethallah ouramdane

    March 24, 2019

    Thanks for this video ,it helps me to understand the difference functions of "GERUND" .Now I need lesson to understand when we use infinitive instead of gerund

  • Mailana Lessa

    March 29, 2019

    Thank uuu

  • Ar-tur

    March 29, 2019

    I've learned so much from your existing lessons. Watching them is a pleasure for me. Any time I have chance to study I am trying to get something on your channel

  • David martin

    March 29, 2019

    hey I want to engivid .com , but could not find anymore on gerunds as objects of prepositions namely used to thanks

  • mona usa

    April 1, 2019

    It is very helpful lesson👍

  • animlives

    April 3, 2019

    This lesson was so helpful!

  • trian rozario

    April 15, 2019

    In sentence 4 I think " riding" is a progressive infinitive, not a gerund because if it were a gerund you would have to use Jim's " instead of "Jim

  • kalder sama

    April 29, 2019


  • Jose Luis Lopez

    May 2, 2019

    Excuse. In this part 5:16 you said that the gerund is a gerund of a "POSSESSIVE PRONOUN". Is that correct? I think you wanted to say "POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE" Right?

  • Mansour Mansour

    May 5, 2019

    a Very useful lesson

  • Andrea Giraldo MD, Ph.D.

    May 7, 2019

    Dear Prof, marvellous lesson. Might I trouble you for a question? You said,”I saw Tim reading…. “
    Reading is present participle or gerund ? Let me explain, To see is a verb of perception, so followed by present participle. Am I wrong ? You are the be-all and end-all. Thank you very much indeed. A

  • Sean Cairns

    May 10, 2019

    gerunds are hard

  • Tapan Patra

    May 10, 2019

    Very good teaching process to learn

  • Bhavesh Raval

    May 13, 2019

    come to viramgam for learning gerund

  • Dope Vids

    May 21, 2019

    Ur looking chunky

  • JL Morales

    June 10, 2019

    Amazing…been teaching for 12 years and this is the BEST explanation I've ever heard. Keep-up the good work 🙂

  • English Is Power

    June 11, 2019

    you are lie

  • Nena Chan

    June 13, 2019

    Thank you ever much!

  • Daniel san

    June 14, 2019

    Congrats 🙂

  • Himanshu Parmar

    July 1, 2019

    I like your teaching, it cleared all my doubts.

  • Alex View

    July 6, 2019

    Isn't riding a participle in 4th sentence?

  • edef33

    July 11, 2019

    Excellent lesson, thank you very much
    In the last example,
    # she doesnt like your bossing her around #,
    Is that "your" a possessive adjective instead of a possessive pronoun? I didnt understand well that part, if someone could explain it to me I would appreciate it very much

  • Beatriz Carneiro

    July 19, 2019

    Teacher you’re amazing!! My god! I was with a lot difficult in it!! Thank you very much for this class!! I’m going to watch all your Chanel now 😂😂😂

  • Allan Vox

    July 25, 2019

    This class should have another version with a more profound explanation. Very good though.

  • The Mindsprings English Teacher

    July 26, 2019

    I love your videos. They are always clear and easily understood. I have one doubt here. In the 4th sentence 'I saw Jim riding his bike'. Is 'riding' in this sentence a gerund? A gerund has a noun function and must answer the question what? or who? put to the verb, right? It must follow the rules of a noun. Here 'riding his bike' is giving us more information about Jim and that would make it a participle (adjective) wouldn't it? If we were to expand it, it would read: I saw Jim who was riding his bike. So I can make it a relative clause. So it still fits a participle than a gerund. Please clarify. Thanks in advance.

  • Alex Thai

    August 7, 2019

    Sometime I feel like in many reading gerund sound like a verb, but in grammar it's a noun right………..It' had been confused me. it feel like gerund is a verb when read or write………….because of this problem, that why sometime some of my sentences aren't make any sense.

  • Anderson Rossi

    August 12, 2019

    Very nice class!

  • Fatma laaziza BERRICHE

    August 21, 2019

    Hi Alex ! Would you mind telling me what is the correct answer for this :
    – Neither of the students …. late for math class yesterday .
    A- is
    B- were
    C- are
    D- was
    Thank you so much in advance . My friends and i couldn't agree on one answer , so i'd really appreciate if you could help us !

  • bob liu

    August 21, 2019

    Hi Alex your 4th sentence 'I saw Jim riding his bike ' is looking present participle to me not gerund.please explain

  • Nikki Zhang

    August 22, 2019

    Thanks for sharing~ with all due respect, just a small question about the 4th one, I thought it was supposed to be a participle? no?

  • Michael Benavides

    August 24, 2019

    Love ya

  • Viviana F

    August 26, 2019

    Thanks Alex! What about the pattern "by + v-ing" ?

  • Jerry Co

    August 31, 2019

    Hi Alex. It seems that in your 4th sentence, the word "riding" is not a gerund 'cause in the context it is used as an adjective and not a noun, therefore it is a participle.

  • Alex Thai

    September 17, 2019

    so is it a noun or a verb………….if it's a noun say it a noun…………..if it's a verb say it a verb………….why English like to confused people

  • Alex Thai

    September 17, 2019

    I thought repeating is present progressive because it has a to be verb???

  • олеся мукаева

    September 20, 2019

    Thank you for your video. It's very easy to understand. However, I would like to ask you about it more. Is it correct to use Perfect Active Gerund in this type of sentence such as I thank you for having come or it's better to use Active Indefinite Gerund such as I thank you for coming?
    I really need the explanation because some resources mention that there is no necessity to use Perfect Active Gerund in these type of sentences
    Thank you in advance.

  • Maria do Socorro Paiva

    September 22, 2019

    Eu vou entender muito o que tu tá falando

  • Till Nieke

    September 25, 2019

    He is super hot!

  • Ria _hy

    September 25, 2019

    Thank u sir

  • TE SL

    October 8, 2019

    great but no example is done for gerund as an indirect object.

  • İnci Hesenli

    October 20, 2019

    After the verbs such as see, hear, feel, watch, observe etc.comes not Gerund but participle 1. I saw you dancing. Dancing isnot a gerund but participle 1 . I studied so. Isn't it right?

  • Gravity Exility

    October 23, 2019

    Kaka. Too rich

  • None of your Business

    October 23, 2019

    Very good video. Thanks!

  • Alex Cameron

    October 25, 2019

    Very well described.

  • Amit Gupta

    November 7, 2019

    Hello Ma'mm, I am Amit Gupta FROM India. there is a question to understand passive of gerund and infinitive. 1. The home(Non doer) needs to be painted ( Passive of infinitive ,Both grammatically and sense are passive) / The Home needs to paint(Active of infinitive, only sense is passive) 2. The Home (Non doer) needs being painted(Passive of infinitive ,Both grammatically and sense are passive) /The home needs painting(Active of gerund, only sense is passive). Here i want to understand why passive of gerund one is wrong ? Request kindly respond


    November 12, 2019

    So helpful


    November 12, 2019

    So helpful

  • Jackie Zhao

    November 14, 2019

    Such a good explanation!! I finally understood different uses of Gerunds. Thanks

  • Alex Thai

    November 15, 2019

    How to know a word is gerund, adjective with ing, or adverb with ing??? how to recognize it.

  • Alex Thai

    November 15, 2019

    Why we use gerund to form a sentence but not present simple??? what is the different???

  • Alex Thai

    November 15, 2019

    wait a minute……..is repeating……..that is a present continuous??? it's not a gerund…………why don't you explain this part???

  • Alex Thai

    November 15, 2019

    english is confused

  • Taissia Fischuk

    November 17, 2019

    субтитры очень помогают привыкнуть к английской речи .спасибо

  • Micah Bertrand

    November 20, 2019

    That helped me out so much, thank you Alex!


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