The Gerund and the Present Participle: ‘ING’ Form
The ‘-ing’ form of the verb may be a present participle or a gerund.
The form is identical, the difference is in the function, or the job the word does in the sentence.
The present participle:
This is most commonly used:
- as part of the continuous form of a verb,
he is painting; she has been waiting
- after verbs of movement/position in the pattern:
verb + present participle,
She sat looking at the sea
- after verbs of perception in the pattern:
verb + object + present participle,
We saw him swimming
- as an adjective, e.g. amazing, worrying, exciting, boring
This always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb), so it can be used:
- as the subject of the sentence:
Eating people is wrong.
- after prepositions:
Can you sneeze without opening your mouth?
She is good at painting
- after certain verbs,
e.g. like, hate, admit, imagine
- in compound nouns,
e.g. a driving lesson, a swimming pool, bird-watching, train-spotting