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Verbs followed by the '-ing' form

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Level: beginner

Common verbs followed by the -ing form are:

  • verbs of liking and disliking:

detest dislike enjoy fancy hate like love

I love swimming but I hate jogging.
They always enjoyed visiting their friends.

  • phrases with mind:

wouldn't mind (= would like)
don't mind (= I am willing to)
would you mind (= will you please …?)

I wouldn't mind having some fish and chips.
I don't mind waiting for a few minutes.
Would you mind holding this for me?

  • verbs of saying and thinking:

admit consider deny imagine remember suggest

Our leader suggested waiting until the storm was over.
Everyone denied seeing the accident.

  • others:

avoid begin finish keep miss practise risk start stop

I haven't finished writing this letter.
Let's practise speaking English.

Verb + -ing form 1

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Verb + -ing form 2

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verb + noun + -ing form

Some verbs are followed by a noun and the -ing form:

  • verbs of the senses
see hear listen to smell watch etc.

We saw everybody running away.
I could hear someone singing.

  • others:
catch find imagine leave prevent stop

I caught someone trying to break in to my house.
We couldn’t prevent them getting away.

Verb + noun + -ing form 1

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Verb + noun + -ing form 2

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Infinitive or -ing form?

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Many of the verbs above are sometimes followed by a passive form of -ing (being + past participle):

I don't like being interrupted.
Our dog loves being stroked under the chin.

Comments

Hi Kirk,

Here's the complete sentence: Weren't houses small in those days. Imagine living in one of those!

It's one of the practice questions.

Hi learning,

OK, thanks. Here the speaker/writer seems to have just learnt how small houses used to be and is making a kind of exclamative statement that expresses their surprise or their wonder at how different things used to be.

By the way, you can learn more about the word order of this statement in the Exclamative clauses section on this Cambridge Dictionary page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teacher,
I was wondering if you could take the trouble to help me figure out the usage of need in some sentences in which someone writes," we don't need anyone getting advance notice and I need someone managing my paperwork. Sir, my question is are both sentences correct? If the answer is yes, would it be okay for us to write I don't need him or her telling me what to do or I need someone giving me instructions?

Could you explain for me? Thanks.

Best Regards.

Hello johnart,

The construction here is need + object + verb-ing. We use it to talk about potential situations in the present or future and express our attitude towards them. It's helpful to contrast the meaning with the use of an infinitive form. For example:

We don't need anyone getting advance notice.

We don't need anyone to get advance notice.

The meaning here of the first sentence is 'this situation would not be good', with the implication that this should be prevented. The meaning of the second sentence is that it is not necessary for us to arrange this.

 

I need someone managing my paperwork

I need someone to manage my paperwork

The meaning here is a little different in each case. In the first sentence the speaker has someone doing this job and does not want to lose that person. In the second sentence the speaker may or may not have someone doing the job, and is simply speaking about whether or not the role is necessary.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Peter, thanks for taking the time to answer this question. I'd like to ask you a related question if you don't mind my asking, which is would it be possible for us to write I don't need him telling me how to get the job done?

And there is another question concerning English grammar, which is the usage of going to be doing. President reportedly told a roomful of journalists that " " I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons."

My question is would it be okay to replace we are going to be discussing with we are going to discuss in this example? By which I mean we are going to discuss and we are going to be discussing have the same meaning. Am I right?

Sorry for asking two questions like this. I'd be grateful if you could explain it to me. Thanks.

Hello johnart,

'I don't need him telling me how to get the job done' is perfectly fine.

The difference between going to do and going to be doing is often one of emphasis rather than fact, but in certain contexts it does change the meaning. The first form, with the simple infinitive, describes the action as a whole, while the second form, with the continuous infinitive, describes the process.

In most contexts, as I said, this is simply a difference in emphasis. Your example with discuss/discussing is like this: there is no real difference in meaning.

However, in some contexts the simple form can imply competion and the continuous form can imply non-completion:

I'm going to read a book. [I will finish it]

I'm going to be reading a book. [I will be in the middle of it]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I am not sure my question is related to this grammar. If not, please guide me to the right one.
In the following sentence:
"Cloud Lab implements activities ranging from:"
why "ranging" is followed by ing?

Hello Salem249,

The -ing form here has an adjectival function. It means the same as a relative clause:

...implements activities which range from...

...implements activities ranging from...

 

This is an example of one way in which a relative clause can be reduced or simplified. You can find more information on this and on other ways of reducing relative clauses on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
Is this sentence correct?
'Finished eating, we went to the zoo'.
Thanks.

Hello Ilariuccia,

I'm afraid that is not correct. The phrase 'Finished eating' is a participle phrase with a passive meaning and you need an active meaning here. The best choice would be 'Having finished eating...'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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