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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

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Verb + -ing form 2

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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

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Verb + noun + -ing form 2

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Infinitive or -ing form?

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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.

Comments

Hi!
Is this sentence correct?
'Finished eating, we went to the zoo'.
Thanks.

Hello Ilariuccia,

I'm afraid that is not correct. The phrase 'Finished eating' is a participle phrase with a passive meaning and you need an active meaning here. The best choice would be 'Having finished eating...'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,

QUESTION A: Kindly advise if whether using "is" or "are" is correct:

(1) Developing your child's brain and immunity is equally important.
(2) Developing your child's brain and immunity are equally important.

QUESTION B: Is it better to use "both" instead of "equally" for the above sentence?

Thank you!

Hi May2,

The correct verb here is 'are' because the subject is two things 'your child's brain' [1] and '(your child's) immunity' [2].

You could use 'both' but it changes the meaning. When you say 'equally' you tell the reader/listener that neither is more important than the other. When you use 'both' you could still mean that one of these is more important than the other, though both are important.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teachers,

I have a question on the usage of "-ing" form. For native speakers, the sentence "Don't leave water running" sounds totally natural. What about "Don't leave running water"?

In my personal feeling, the second sentence is not so colloquial as the first one, but I'm also thinking about the possibility of saying "there might be running water in this building and don't leave it when you find". And in this case, "don't leave" implies "don't ignore" and "it" should indicate "running water".

So I just want to clarify whether "Don't leave running water" is grammatically incorrect or is widely used as well.

Best Regards,
YSATO201602

Hello 

There is a difference in meaning between the two forms.

Don't leave the water running means remember to turn it off. The verb 'leave' is one of a number of verbs which can be used with an -ing form (or an -ing clause) in this way. For more examples see this page.

Don't leave running water means stay with it. The verb 'leave' here has a literal meaning - to physically remain - and the -ing form has an adjectival role, describing the noun 'water'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,

Would you please elaborate on the passive forms of -ing? I keep hearing - and saying myself - these two sentences:
'I don't mind my picture being taken.' and
'I don't mind having my picture taken.'

Are both correct in terms of grammar? Is it OK to put an object before a verb in the present continuous passive in similar constructions?

Thank you for the answer in advance.

Hi Paul_the_teacher,

Both of those sentences are correct. The construction here is as follows:

not mind + -ing

I don't mind eating pasta.

I don't mind going to the party.

 

You can replace 'mind' with other verbs like 'hate', 'love', like', 'enjoy' and so on. In this structure the -ing form is a gerund and acts as a direct object; it is not part of a present continous verb phrase. You could use a noun in place of the gerund (e.g. 'I don't mind pasta').

The object can be a longer phrase:

I don't mind eating pasta at the weekend.

I don't mind going to the party with my friends on Saturdays.

 

Note that these are still objects. You can use the same -ing phrases as subjects:

Eating pasta at the weekend is nice.

Or, to use your example:

Having my picture taken always makes me feel self-conscious.

My picture being taken doesn't bother me.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi peter,

I have gone through clause Analysis and its rules but I am still not clear with clause. Would you please help.

I am eagerly waiting for your response.

Thank you.

Hello Aamir khan,

We are happy to help you understand the explanation on this page, but could you please ask a more specific question? Thanks in advance.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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