Master Gerunds: Definition, Examples & Usage – Language Tutor

An Ultimate Guide on Gerunds

If you have stumbled on the term “gerund” and asked yourself “What is a gerund?”, then you’re not alone. This vital language pitstop often confuses many. This comprehensive guide covers what you need to know about gerunds, their usage and provides plenty of examples for easier understanding.

What is a Gerund?

A gerund can be thought of as a verb form that ends in “-ing” and acts as a noun. When used in a sentence, the gerund often acts as the subject, the object, or the complement.

The Gerund Definition

In the English language, the exact definition of a gerund can be tricky. However, we can define a gerund as a noun made from a verb by adding ‘-ing’. Gerunds can function as subjects, objects, or complements on their own or as part of gerund phrases. This feature makes them different from regular verbs.

Examples of Gerunds

Understanding gerund examples can help solidify your grasp of this language concept. Let’s dive into some basic examples:

  • Studying a second language can be stressful.
  • I enjoy drinking coffee in the morning.
  • Swimming is her favourite sport.

In these examples, the gerunds are ‘studying’, ‘drinking’, and ‘swimming’. Notice how they function as nouns, even though they come from verbs.

Using Gerunds in Sentences

How you use a gerund can depend largely on the context of the sentence.

  • As the subject: ‘Educating oneself is the key to success.’
  • After prepositions: ‘She is adept at playing the piano.’
  • Followed by an object: ‘I stopped worrying about the results.’

Remember, gerunds are versatile and can add value to your sentences while giving them a complex structure.

Common Questions About Gerunds

Several questions might pop into mind when we talk about gerunds. Here, we address some common queries:

Are all words ending in ‘ing’ gerunds?

No, not all words ending in ‘ing’ are gerunds. Some can be present participles or continuous tenses.

Is it possible to use a gerund in the past tense?

No, gerunds don’t have a past tense. However, they can be used in a context that indicates past time.


In a nutshell, a gerund is a unique yet essential element in the English language. Its understanding and correct usage are crucial for language mastery. We hope that our comprehensive review, along with the examples, would help you put your finger on using gerunds more effectively.

Remember to practice regularly and to use gerunds into your daily language usage, as practice is indispensable to mastery.


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