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Verbs followed by the '-ing' form

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


Verb + -ing form 2


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


Verb + noun + -ing form 2


Infinitive or -ing form?


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.


Hi Goncharush,

No, I'm afraid the second sentence is not correct. 'afford' is typically followed either by a noun phrase or a to + infinitive (not an -ing form). If you follow the link, you can see several examples of each.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello The LearnEnglish Team,
Could you help me, please? Is it somehow possible to use a gerund after "try" in the following sentence: I would never try...
Is it OK to say "I would never try jumping out of a helicopter" instead of "I would never try to jump out of a helicopter"? Thanks a lot for your help. I need your help badly.

Hello Yuriy,

'try' can be followed by both a 'to' infinitive and a gerund, but there is a difference in meaning. 'try to do something' means 'make an effort to do something', whereas 'try doing something' means 'do something and see what happens'. So in your case, 'try jumping' would be the correct choice.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Does "Weren't houses small in those days." mean I know houses were small before and I am trying to emphasize that fact?

Thank you.

Hi learning,

I'd need to know the context to say for sure. If the context were appropriate and the sentence ended with a question mark, then it could be that you're surprised and are checking to see that you've understood. This would make sense, for example, if someone else said that houses were bigger at that time, whereas you had understood they were smaller.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

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,
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.



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]



The LearnEnglish Team