You are here

'-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 Adam,
I'm sorry, We will wait for answers. Thank you.

I couldn't open the exercise.
Vhen it was opened, I found a strange lettering.
could you solve this problem...

We had some problems with the exercises today, but I think they are fixed now. Please let us know if you see any other problems.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everybody!
Does anyone know the correct writing of the following sentence:
- I participated in drafting legal treaties and preparing conferences.
- I participated in drafting of legal treaties and preparing of conferences.

Hello Bady,
The first sentence looks great! You could also talk about 'the drafting of legal treaties'.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I've got a question.
Is it true if I said, "They are considering celebrating New Year's eve in Bali?"
If it's not. So what it's suppose to be? Really get confuse to see the differences between gerund and to + infinitive ;(
Thanks a lot, can't wait for the reply ^^

Hello Anyssa!
That's correct - we usually use the gerund with celebrating.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Is it correct if I say "I love watching my son playing football". ?

Hello inteligente7!
Yes, that sentence is perfectly correct - in fact it's the best way of saying it!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

i think that this site is very useful for english learners. Thank for all the the tips you make to help us improving our english skills.