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



hello, i am new member in this org. i want to learn english from here.

hi im a new member ..........i very happy that bacome one member of this Org

it's very good thing to learn english.I like the way you taught us english very well

Now I'm a member. I'm starting studying the lessons. Is the latter sentence right? In the phrase " do the cooking" how about (the+v-ing)? Please, someone, help me with it. Using -ing forms is very useful. Thanks.

Hello Tun,
I'm not quite clear what you mean in your question. It is correct to say 'do the cooking'  in English. We have some more information about verbs with -ing forms and verbs followed by -ing clauses which might be helpful for you.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hello I am new user and i want learning English language. 

Hello I'm new member and weak english language.Pls right way the english language.

Hello everyone! i'm a new member. i want to speak English fluently. please help

waht is the difference between
i love watching my son play football.
i love watching my son playing football.

Hi Hamad,
In my opinion, there is no difference in meaning between these two sentences.
However, if the action is one which can be completed, there is a small difference in meaning. e.g. 'I love watching my son write his name' focusses on the completed action and its result. 'I love watching my son writing his name'  focusses on the action in progress, the activity itself.
I hope that helps!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team