The -ing form

The –ing form can be used like a noun, like an adjective or like a verb.

When it is used like a noun it may or may not have an article before it.

It can also be part of a 'noun phrase'.

In formal English, we would use a possessive with the –ing form. In informal English, many people do not.

As an adjective, the –ing form can be used before a noun.

The –ing form is used after prepositions.

Notice that when 'to' is used as a preposition, it is followed by the –ing form.

There are many verb + -ing combinations. Here are some common ones:

Some verbs can be followed by either the infinitive or –ing form but with different meanings. Here are some common ones:

Some verbs can be followed by either the infinitive or –ing form but with the same meaning.

Here are some common ones:

Pearson's comment:
This is a complicated area of grammar. (In my experience, many English teachers feel unsure about teaching this area!) Keep a little notebook and write down 'real' examples of the -ing form that you see.

exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

exercise 5

exercise 6

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You will find different grammar exercises and more grammar explanations on our sister site English Grammar Secrets