Gerund Phrases

In this lesson, we learn yet another use for the "-ing form" of a verb.

In each of these sentences, the "-ing verb" is functioning as a noun. In the first example, "skiing" is the subject of the sentence. In the second example, "swimming" is the object of the verb "hate."

An "-ing verb" that is acting like a noun is called a gerund.

Although a gerund is a noun, it still retains some of its verb-like properties. Specifically, it can take an object (that is, it can act upon an object).

A gerund with objects or modifiers is called a gerund phrase. The entire phrase can be treated like one big noun.


Sentences with Gerund Phrases


Skiing down Mt. Everest is dangerous.


Asking relevant questions is important.


Clifford loves spending his father's hard-earned money.


I like speaking Old French.


Instructions for the Quiz

Identify the underlined phrase. You are given six choices; however, the answer will NEVER be choices 4–6, because we have not yet studied those phrases.