Gerunds For Beginners

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Avoid Staring at the Sun 

This is our second installment of discussing Gerund. The gerund is a noun formed from a verb. Simply put, we create Gerunds by adding ing to the end of a Verb. Some examples of Gerunds include “running, staying,” and “buying.” 

Gerunds are used after certain Verbs, like “enjoy, avoid, finish, suggest,” and “keep.” Below are some examples of the Gerund in action. 

Gerunds may appear alone or with other words to form a Gerund Phrase. Collectively, this phrase behaves like a single noun.

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Examples of Gerund

How can I use Gerunds in a full sentence?

I will color the Verb or Verb Group and underline the Noun for clarity.

It’s said that you should avoid staring at the Sun. However, looking at the Sun is the job of many Astronomers. They use many specialized tools for Sun Gazing, such as black tinted sunglasses. 

A Bit of Grammar

What about syntax and Gerunds?

Typically, “stare, look,” and “gaze” are used as Verbs. For example, your mother might have once said “Don’t stare at the Sun.” This is a straightforward sentence: “don’t” is the Negative Verb, “stare” is the Verb and “Sun” is the final Noun.

However, when using a Gerund, the Verb becomes a Noun. This concept may be hard to grasp at first, even native English speakers struggle with the concept at first because sentences with Gerunds appears to read like this: 

Verb Group | Preposition Group | Noun Group

But this just isn’t so. Looking at our example, “Staring at the Sun” is no longer an action but a thing, a thing you happen to do.

Examples of Gerunds

Alexi has enjoyed running along the beach in the morning.

We avoid staying awake so late on weekdays.

He suggested buying a refrigerator magnet as a souvenir. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Name some of the things you should keep doing to improve your English skills. 

Q3: Should you avoid eating fast food? Why or why not?

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