You probably remember that a gerund is a verb+ING.  It’s usually used in the continuous tenses, such as:

She is living in Detroit now.

They were hiking when the storm hit.

I’ve been working since 8:00 this morning.

But there are other uses for gerunds:

  • They can act like nouns, which means they can be the subject or the object of a sentence.  Read the following examples:

Swimming in the river was a lot of fun.  (Subject)

Becoming a doctor takes many years of study. (Subject)

My sister loves watching old movies. (Object)

He’s responsible for answering those letters.  (Preposition+Object)

EXERCISE A:  Using an appropriate gerund, please complete the following sentences.

  1. I used to be afraid of ____________________.
  2. _________________in the mountains is wonderful exercise but it’s also tiring.
  3. Who’s responsible for ______________________the dog?
  4. One of the best ways you can spend your time is ___________________.
  5. ______________________in the ocean during a thunderstorm is not recommended.
    • They can be used as adjectives, instead of a clause:

Falling leaves make quite a mess on your lawn. (Leaves that fall make quite a mess…)

Barking dogs are a nuisance.  (Dogs that bark are a nuisance.)

The running man dropped his keys.  (The man who was running dropped his keys.)

Crying children are a problem on airplanes.  (Children who cry are a problem…)

EXERCISE B:  Replace the clauses in these sentences with gerunds:

  1. The faucet that dripped kept me awake all night.
  2. The holiday that’s coming should be a lot of fun.
  3. The crowd that was screaming tried to get into the stadium.
  4. He jumped out of the way of the car that was speeding.
  5. I saw the house that was burning on TV news.


PART TWO:  There are 10 errors in the following paragraph.  Find them and correct them.

When we thinking about our familiarest domestic animals, it’s easy to see differences in  its  social behavior.  Dogs are pack animals, and they are conditioned to recognize emotions in other dogs and in his owners as well.  For example, a dog who sees that its owner is angry will change its own expression to one of sorrow or guilty.

On the other hand, cats (except for lions) are not pack animals.  They tend to be emotional independent and not particular interested in the feelings of the group.  Like dogs, cats often shows affection to their owners, but they are much lesser affected by their owners’ emotions. Dogs seem to want to please us also.  Cats please themselves.

(By the way, you can see from this paragraph that the word for a group of dogs (or wolves) is  a pack.  There are many special words for different groups  of animals.  A group of horses, cows or other plant-eating animals is a herd; a lot of birds is a flock and a group of lions is called a pride. )



EXERCISE A: There are many different correct answers.  Some examples are:  1. driving

2. walking    3.  feeding    4.  volunteering for the Red Cross    5. Swimming

EXERCISE B:    1. The dripping faucet    2.  The coming holiday    3.  The screaming crowd    4.  the speeding car    5. the burning house


Line 1: When we think, most familiar and differences in their…

Line 3: in their owners

Line 4: guilt

Line 6: emotionally, particularly

Line 7: show, less

Line 8: Dogs also seem…or Also, dogs seem…