Correct Use of Gerund rules in English Grammar!
What is Gerund in English Grammar?
A Gerund is formed by adding ‘ing’ to the first form or present tense of a verb. It has the force both of a noun and a verb. It is a verb-noun.
Although both participle and Gerund are verbs having ‘ing’ at the end, (both are called ‘ing’ form of the verb), yet they are quite different from each other.
- Swimming is a good exercise. (Gerund)
- I saw him swimming in the river. (Participle)
As both the Gerund and the Infinitive are Noun + Verbs, they have the same uses. In many sentences, they may be used without any difference in meaning. For example:
- Teach me swimming.
- Teach me to swim.
- Giving is better than receiving.
- To give is better than to receive.
Correct use of Gerund in English Grammar (Rules)
Rule No. 1
A noun or a pronoun which comes before a Gerund must be in the possessive case.
Incorrect: I hope you will excuse me leaving early.
Correct: I hope you will excuse leaving early.
Incorrect: I do not like Joe beating his servant.
Correct: I do not like Joe is beating his servant.
Incorrect: We rejoiced at him being promoted.
Correct: We rejoiced at his being promoted.
Rule No. 2
A Gerund when it is used like an ordinary noun, must have ‘the’ before it and ‘of’ after it
Incorrect: Reading of a novel is harmful.
Correct: The reading of novel is harmful.
Incorrect: Making of the plan is in hand.
Correct: The making of the plan is in hand.
Incorrect: Coming of the train is uncertain.
Correct: The coming of the train is uncertain.
Rule No. 3
Certain verbs are followed by some particular prepositions, after such verbs infinitives cannot be used. Gerund must be used after them.
Incorrect: He persisted to do it in spite of my advice.
Correct: He persisted in doing it in spite of my advice.
(The correct preposition after the verb persist is ‘in’, so we cannot use the infinitive ‘to’. A Gerund has to be used instead.)
Correct: He insisted upon doing it.
Correct: He insisted to do it.
Incorrect: I hope you will be successful to get the appointment.
Correct: I hope you will be successful in getting the appointment.
Incorrect: He is desirous to get the job.
Correct: He is desirous of getting the job.
Rules No. 4
There are certain verbs after which only Gerund is used.
Some such verbs are: avoid, complete, deny, dislike, enjoy, favor finish, give up, miss, put off, practice, suggest, insist, admit, appreciate, regret, help, consider, stop, look forward to, accustomed to, is used to, do not mind, object to, with a view to, etc.
- He enjoys swimming.
- He avoids smoking.
- I am looking forward to receiving your reply.
- He is used to working hard.
- He is accustomed to smoking.
Rule No. 5
There are certain verbs after which only Infinitives are used. Some such verbs are: agree, attempt, choose, decide, determine, expect, hope, offer, promise, refuse, wish etc.
- He agrees to attend the meeting.
- He promised to help me.
- He refused to help us.
- He hopes to pass the test.
Correct: The boy is either a fool or a knave.
Rule No. 6
‘Both’ is positive in meaning, and as such it must not be used in a negative sentence, we should use ‘Neither, Nor’ in place of ‘both’ in negative sentences.
Incorrect: Both did not go.
Correct: Neither of them went.
Incorrect: Both Aslam and his sister did not pass the examination.
Correct: Neither Aslam nor his sister passed the examination.
Rule No. 5
‘Lest’ must be followed by ‘should’ and not by ‘may not’ etc.
Incorrect: You must work hard lest you may not fail.
Correct: You must work hard lest you should fail.
Rule No. 6
As a conjunction ‘that’ should never be used.
- Before a sentence in the Direct Narration.
- Before words of interrogation (How, when, who, why, when etc.) in the Indirect Narration.
- Before ‘if’ and ‘whether’.
Incorrect: He said ‘that’ I shall soon meet you again.
Correct: He said, “l shall soon meet you again.”
Incorrect: I want to know that how much this book will cost.
Correct: I want to know how much this book will cost.
Incorrect: I asked that if he would help me.
Correct: I asked that he would help me.
Rule No. 7
‘That’ is used after ‘hope and ‘fear’ but not after ‘doubt’, ‘if’ should be used after ‘doubt’
- I hope that he will pass the examination.
- I fear that he will not pass the examination.
Rule No. 8
‘Such’ is followed by the conjunction(Parts of Speech) ‘as’, ‘same’ is followed by ‘that’ if there is a verb after ‘that‘; if there is no verb then the ‘same’ must be followed by ‘as’ (who and which are never used after ‘same’ and ‘such’).
Incorrect: He is not such a man whom I admire.
Correct: He is not such a man as I admire.
Incorrect: This is the same man as came here yesterday.
Correct: This is the same man that came here yesterday.
Incorrect: This is the same kind of house that yours.
Correct: This is the same kind of house as yours.
Rule No. 9
The correlative are used in negative sentences and in the affirmative.
Incorrect: I am not so strong as I once was.
Correct: I am quite as strong as I ever was.
Rule No. 10
When the conjunction ‘when’, ‘while’, ‘before’, till’, ‘after’ are used with a sub-ordinate clause with future event, or in reference to some future event, they are never followed by a verb in the future tense.
Incorrect: When you will come to me, we will go to bazar.
Correct: When you come to me, we will go to bazar.
Incorrect: Before the rain will stop, the train would have left the station.
Correct: Before the rain stops, the train would have left the station.
Rule No. 11
‘Since’, when used as a conjunction to express time extending back from the present into the past, takes Present Perfect before it and is followed by past Indefinite Tense.
- Two years have passed since my father died. (Present Perfect)
- A month has passed since I came here. (Past Indefinite)
Rule No. 12
Certain verbs must be followed by their correlative ‘as’. They are; regard, describe, represent, portray, depict, define, treat, etc.
- I regard you as an honest man.
- He is described as a strange fellow.
- He is represented as the most honest man in the world.
- He is mentioned as an artist of great talent.
Note: ‘Name’, ‘call’, ‘consider’, ‘think, ‘appoint’, etc. must not be followed by ‘as’.
Incorrect: He called John as fool.
Correct: He called John fool.
Incorrect: They named the child as Elena.
Correct: They named the child Elena.
Incorrect: The Board has appointed him as Principal of the college.
Correct: The Board has appointed him Principal of the college.
Incorrect: Joe is considered as an excellent teacher.
Correct: Joe is considered an excellent teacher.
Incorrect: We all thought her as very intelligent.
Correct: We all thought her very intelligent.
Rule No. 13
Because’ should not be followed by ‘therefore’ and ‘until’ by ‘not’. Because shows ‘causal or ‘reason’, ‘so that’ purpose. Still the two are often confused.
- Because you work hard, therefore, you would succeed.
(Remove either ‘because’ or therefore’.)
- He must not be allowed to attend class, until he does not pay the fee.
(Correct: Until he pays the fee etc.)
- He came here, because he may study at the college. (Use so that in place of ‘because)
Infographics (Correct use of Gerund in English Grammar)