You are here

'-ing' forms

Level: beginner

We can use the -ing form of a verb:

I love swimming.
Swimming is very good for your health.
You can get fit by swimming regularly.

The main problem today is rising prices.
That programme was really boring.
He saw a woman lying on the floor.

-ing forms as nouns

-ing nouns are nearly always uncount nouns. They can be used:

  • as the subject of a verb:

Learning English is not easy.

  • as the object of a verb:

We enjoy learning English.

Common verbs followed by an -ing object are:

admit like hate start avoid
suggest enjoy dislike begin finish
  • as the object of a preposition :

Some people are not interested in learning English.

-ing form as a noun


-ing forms as adjectives

The -ing adjective can come:

  • in front of a noun:

I read an interesting article in the newspaper today.
We saw a really exciting match on Sunday.

Your new book sounds very interesting.
The children can be really annoying.

  • after a noun:

Who is that man standing over there?
The boy talking to Angela is her younger brother

  • especially after verbs of the senses like see, watch, hear, smell, etc.:

I heard someone playing the piano.
I can smell something burning.

The commonest -ing adjectives are:

-ing form as an adjective


Patterns with -ing forms

Because an -ing noun or adjective is formed from a verb, it can have any of the patterns which follow a verb. For example:

  • it can have an object:

I like playing tennis.
I saw a dog chasing a cat.

  • it can be followed by a clause:

I heard someone saying that he saw you.

-ing form as a noun or adjective 1


-ing form as a noun or adjective 2



a good one it's sort of challenging

sounds good !! i got 85%.

good exercise!
It will help me on my grammar test))

Hello every body! Nice to meet you!
I'm a new member. I want to make friend with everyone. My English is not good so I  want to improve my english skills.

i`m like you. we can be friends

I am new member. I am from Venezuela. Today is my first day on this website. I want to learn English.

Hi ebanotata 1. I'm too. Nice to meet u!

Hi. I never knew that british council provides this free website for us to learn english. Really thankful or this. I just knew about this from my father. Could you correct my wrong from this sentence? Thanks.

Hi, this web sit is excellent, So I'm happy to share this site . any way my problem is i always forget the wards and i can't focus to instruction the write sentences when i talk directly with any one especially some one talk fast. 

Dear Adam,
I have a comment regarding to question 9/10, the right order for the given words is as following:
I love watching my son play football
could you please clarify why it is correct to use play rather than plays.