The Gerund

What is a gerund?

The gerund always ends in ing.


  • Swimming is my hobby
  • Writing is more difficult than reading

However, it should be noted that the present participle also ends in ing.


  • They were watching TV when I arrived.
  • John will be teaching in that school for the next two years.

What is the difference between a gerund and the present participle?

You can differentiate between the gerund and the present participle as follows:

  • Gerunds function as nouns.
  • Gerunds can be a subject, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions.
  • Present participles, on the other hand, complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.

Examples of gerund:

  • Cycling is fun. (subject)
  • I like cycling. (direct object)
  • He gives fishing all his time.( indirect object)
  • He has devoted all his life to fishing. (object of the preposition to)

Examples of present participle:

  • They were eating when the bell rang. (eating is a present participle which is part of the past progressive tense "were eating")
  • I bought a fishing book. (writing is a present participle modifying book)

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