We can use the -ing form of the verb:

• as a noun:

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

-ing nouns are nearly always uncount nouns

  • as an adjective:

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

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

  • ... an object:

I like playing tennis.
Can you imagine living on the moon?

  • ... or an adverbial:

You can earn a lot of money by working hard.
There were several people waiting for the bus.

  • ... or a clause:

I heard someone saying that.

The -ing noun 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.

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.

 The commonest –ing adjectives used in front of the noun are


amusing interesting worrying shocking disappointing
boring surprising  exciting terrifying frightening
tiring annoying      


  • after a noun:

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

  • and especially after verbs like see, watch, hear, smell etc.

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





Thank you teacher. I will be looking for Milton and Shakespeare this coming year.
My best wishes.

Hello Teacher,
Could you please help me understand this matter please? Here is the sentence:
"Interestingly, some traits were more accurately predicted based one the person's listening habits than others.'

I can understand the meaning in this sentence, however, i am not clear about its structure.
1. What is the function of the phrase ' based on the person's listening habits'?
Does it modify for the whole sentence?

2. In this sentence, there are two participle Verbs standing next to each other without any comma.

Thank you very much for your support. Have a good day.

Hello Loi Duong,

As a rule, we don't comment on sentences from elsewhere. This is because we don't know the context in which the sentence was used and because the sentences are often not good examples of English. Your sentence, for example, is not grammatically correct so either the source is not a good one or you have incorrectly copied it.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mr. Peter,
I am sorry for bothering you again. But i still need help from you in this case. I just wan to make sure that what i am studying is right information.
I am sure that i have correctly copied the sentence. But i am not certain about the source. I enclosed the site here (http://www.thinkinghumanity.com/2014/01/8-surprising-ways-music-affects-...). Could you please check it out. (Number 3 paragraph 4).
In the case, the sentence is not grammatically correct, how can to fix it right?

I highly appreciate your help. Thank you very much. Have a nice holidays.

Kind regards,

Hello Loi Duong,

I see the error - the text says 'based on' rather than 'based one'. What this means is that when they tried to make predictions using different factors, the factor that worked best in predicting personality traits was their listening habits. It modifies the main subject and verb phrase.

'base on' is a phrasal verb and you can see more examples of it in the dictionary entry I linked to.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

i got it. Thank you very much for your support. Have a good day.

hello, why is there a ing form in the follow sentence?
"Anyone arriving after the start of the play is not allowed in until the interval"
I would have put "arrives" instead of arriving,,
please correct me if I wrong

Hello manuel24,

If you use a relative clause then 'arrives' would be correct:

Anyone who arrives after the start...

However, when we reduce the relative clause we use a present participle instead of a present simple form:

Anyone arriving after the start...


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mr. Peter,
May i ask you a question? Please kindly look at the sentence following:
"The fourth question concerned the causes of the destruction of rainforests. Perhaps encouragingly, more than half of the pupils (59%) identified that it is human activities which are destroying rainforests, some personalising the responsibility by the use of term such as 'we are'.

1. why do they use ' it is human activities' instead of ' they are' which is supposed to be followed by a plural noun ' activities'?
2. '..., some personalising... '. I cant get this point. Is that a present participle or else? why do they still use 'some' as a subject, 'personalising' as a participle verb instead of 'personalised' for a paralell structure with the previous clause 'half of the puplis identified...'?

Please help my to clarify the points. Thank you very much

Hello Loi Duong,

In 1, 'it' is used to form a cleft sentence. A cleft structure puts new information at the front (after 'it' + 'be') in order to emphasise it. So this clause puts emphasis on 'human activities' as the cause of the destruction of rainforests according to the pupils. Cleft structures can begin in different ways; 'it is' is one of the most common and 'they are' is not one. See this BBC page and this Cambridge Dictionary page (be sure to scroll down) for more on cleft structures.

In 2, using the past simple form 'personalised' would make this a fused sentence, which is fine in an informal style, but not the formal or academic style of this text. If a full stop were introduced where the comma is, then you could do this, e.g. '... rainforests. Some personalised the responsibility ...' In this case, the writer has used a participle clause, which is quite common in this kind of text.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team