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.

 

Exercise

Comments

Hi amrita,

Yes, 'watching' is a gerund (a noun derived from a verb) and 'soothing' is an adjective. The structure of the sentence is a simple copula: 'X is Y'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you sir.

Sir , in the following sentence , can you please tell me if 'hurt' and 'ill-fated' are both Non finite ( past participles ) ?
The hurt passengers of the ill-fated train were admitted to the nearby hospital .

Hello amrita_enakshi,

The words have the form of past participles but are functioning as adjectives in the sentence.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thank you sir

Hi
I am really confused about "ing" form when it is used as a gerund or as a verbal noun or as an adjective in a sentence. I want an article to separate these and help me. For example in this:
"Game changing delivery" (why not game change delivery or changing game delivery) what is the structure and meaning(or maybe mean) of every word in the sentence above especially "ing: ?
Where do we use verbal nouns in a sentence and what is used before and after that(ex:adjective or noun)?
There are a lot of phrase in ing forms and I am really not know about the structure of ing form so I am really confused.
Thanks in advance.

Hi mehransam05,

The phrase 'game-changing delivery' (it is usually hypenated) has a compound adjective (game-changing) modifying a noun (delivery).

English is a very flexible language and a word fulfil many different roles in the sentence. To identify which role an ing-form has you need to look at the sentence in which it is used. This is why we provide the examples on this page. If the ing-form is the subject or object in the sentence then it is acting as a noun. If it describes a noun then it is acting as an adjective.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team

Could you please tell me what the -ing forms 'learning' and 'knowing' function as in the following sentence:

Her parents said that learning English meant she would be able to make friends with people all over the world, and knowing Spanish meant that she could talk to grandma Garcia, who could not speak English.

Would it be correct to say they are gerunds?

Thanks for your help,

Lexeus

Hello Lexeus,

The two forms you ask about function as nouns, and yes, they are gerunds, i.e. words formed from verbs that are used as nouns.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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