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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.


Dear sir., what is the difference between gerund and infinitive...

Hello kartik,

The infinitive is the grammatical name for the base form of the verb, such as 'be', 'go', 'look' and 'do'.

The gerund is a noun formed from a verb. Gerunds end in -ing, such as 'being', 'going', 'looking' and 'doing'. Note that the gerund is a kind of noun; there are other forms which end in -ing which are not gerunds.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


Something that's been bothering me for awhile:

"He had been looking out the window, watching the people pass by..."
"He had been looking out the window, watching the people passing by..."

Honestly, I can't find which, of the two choices, sounds more correct in whatever possible cases.

Hello Ostraciz,

Both are correct. The first ('pass by') means he watched the people pass by from start to finish - the completed action. The second ('passing by') means he saw them in the middle of the action but not necessarily the start or end. Compare:

I saw her read the book. [I watched the whole thing]

I saw her reading the book. [I saw her doing this, but not from start to finish]

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone,

My question is about the following sentence taken from an article about a new technology (CRISPR) in the genetics field which could allow to edit genetic information: "A dizzying range of applications has researchers turning to CRISPR to develop therapies for everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer to HIV."

Can you help me understand this sentence in particular the "has+someone+doing" bit, please?
Is it a causative "have" like in "have something done" or "have someone do something"? Or is it something different altogether?

Thank you very much in advance.

Hello Knightrider,

The meaning here is 'has caused them to turn'. It's not quite the same as the causitive verbs you quote but is somewhat similar. However, unlike 'have something done' there is no sense of payment for a service.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


I'm trying to figure out if this sentence would require a comma. It seems there are 2 verbs and to me it seems it would require a comma after stretched. What would the section of the sentence "taking in ..." be called? Is there a rule that requires a comma or a reason you wouldn't use a comma?

Here is another example:

She grumbled looking over a rack of dresses.

It seems there should be a comma after grumbled, but I'm not sure and if it does, what is the rule?

She stretched taking in the new sounds and scents from the surrounding forest

Hi toricerda,

Yes, both of these sentences should have commas. The sections beginning with the -ing form are examples of participle clauses. You can read more about these here.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

May I know whether the ing clause following a verb is an object or an adverbial? How can one know the role of an ing in a sentence?

Hi grammar2015,

On this page you can see the different roles of the -ing form. As you can see there, the -ing form can be used as either a verb or an adverbial. There is no instant rule to tell which is which; you need to look at the sentence and the particular verb which is used.

The -ing form has many uses, including participle clauses, reduced relative clauses and so on.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team