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'-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



Hello...hmm,can you please explain to me,(example-when we add -ing to the verb PUT),why does the letter T double? when do the ending letters double,and when not?

P.S. sorry if I made mistakes by writting this,but I'm not very good at writting english :)

Hello neta2!
This is mostly about sound. Put has a short u sound (like but or cut) followed by a single consonant (t). Other verbs with short vowels sounds are to swim (short i, followed by m) or to stop (short o followed by p). We double the consonant to tell us to keep the short vowel sound - swimming, stopping. When there is a long vowel sound, like in hate (long a) or meet (long e) we know it is a long sound because there is no double letter - hating, meeting. 

This pattern is actually quite common. We use the same thing for adjectives (+er, +est). For example, big has a short i, so we say bigger. This is called the consonant vowel consonant rule, or cvc for short - when you have a short vowel between two consonants at the end of the word, double the last letter. You can do a web search on 'cvc verbs' for more examples, and look at our pronunciation chart to find out which vowel sounds are short (the ones without :)!

Hope that helps
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Could anybody help me to explain how can I use his or her  and a correct sentence I am a little  bit confusing about how can I use correctly to present it .Thanks to all of you and to the moderator created these kind of online textbook.

I have a quick question regarding the -ing form. In the sentence 'I go swimming' which part of speech is 'swimming'?
Thank you.

I like it is very nice.

Please tell me which one of following two sentences is correct.
1. I don't mind for his not giving me that thing.
2. I don't mind for his giving me not that thing.
I think both are correct but the meanings are different but I'm not sure.
May I omit the word 'for'  from the sentence and rewrite it as "I don't mind his not giving me ... / I don't mind his giving me not .... ."
Thank you.

in reply to your request 6/8/2012
The correct expression is "I don't mind his not giving me that thing." The word for is not used here and the second sentence does not make sense. Could you be thinking about the following phrase? "I don't care for his taste in music/ his comments/ sweets."

Hello Katherine,
Thank you very much for your reply. Now I feel quite free as your mail has
cleared my confusion and from now on I will try to follow the structure which
you've shown.
You may have noticed that I had once thought that the word `for` was unnecessary but couldn't be sure as I didn't know the rule.
I'd tried to use the second statement as an alternative.. .
Thanks again for your help.
C U :))

Hello everybody, How do you do? I am a new member of this site. Sorry friends I am very weak in English. But I would like to improve my listening and speaking English. I will be very grateful to you if you kindly provide learning materials and help me. Take care and keep me in your communication loop.

Hi All,
I am from Thailand, I am new here my English is not good and I want to improve it.