Lesson 1: Verb patterns with gerunds (verb+ing)

Gerunds as subjects

We often use gerunds (verb+ing) as the subject of a sentence. The verb after a gerund is singular.

  • Smoking is not healthy.
  • Running is good exercise.
  • Cycling can be dangerous in London.
  • Writing a book takes a long time.
  • Making cakes is very relaxing.


We often see ‘no’ before verb+ing on signs.

  • No smoking! (= You are not allowed to smoke here.)
  • No running! (= You are not allowed to run here.)
  • No parking! (= You are not allowed to park here.)


Prepositions + gerund

We always use a gerund (verb+ing) after a preposition. We don’t use ‘to + infinitive’.

  • Thank you for helping me.
  • He is worried about missing the train.
  • She is interested in learning Swedish.
  • Keep on going!
  • They are very good at singing.

Verb + gerund

When we want to use two verbs together, the second verb is sometimes in the gerund. These verbs are always followed by the gerund. We've already talked about using the gerund after 'enjoy', 'finish', 'love', 'like' and 'hate'. Here are some more verbs that are followed by the gerund.

  • discuss: We discussed going on holiday together.
  • mind: I don't mind coming early.
  • suggest: He suggested staying at the Grand Hotel.
  • practise: I need to practise playing the piano.
  • can’t help: I can’t help thinking about you.


We also say ‘spend + time + verb+ing’.

  • I spent three hours working yesterday.
  • He spends all weekend watching films.

Complete and Continue