Grammar. 08.11.2010
Grammar Teacher

Английская грамматика: GERUND AS A PHENOMENON

Автор: Grammar Teacher
Почему такое явление, как Gerund (собственно, так же, как Articles, Modal verbs...) представляет определенную сложность для English learners? Ответ очевиден – ни одна из перечисленных грамматических категорий не используется ни в родном украинском, ни в таком широко распространенном русском языках... Вот почему только столкнувшись с ними, студента задает множество вопросов типа «зачем?», «как перевести?» и т.д. Лишь впоследствии он будет оперировать этими понятиями так же легко, как в случае с noun, verb, Past simple etc.
Итак, Gerund. С определенной натяжкой мы можем назвать эту форму глагола отглагольным существительным (verbal noun). Как, например, «охота» (от охотиться) или «кочевание» (от кочевать) в русском языке. Indeed, Gerund combines the functions of the noun and the verb.
Let’s have a look at this example:
Food is not expensive.
Eating is not expensive.
The word food in the first sentence is a noun. Food is a class of physical objects. The sentence makes a statement about these physical objects. But sometimes you want to make a statement about an activity. Te second sentence makes a statement about eating. Te word eating is the subject of the sentence. Since the subject of a sentence is usually a noun, the word eating in the second sentence plays the role of a noun. However, the word eating is the ing form of the verb eat. When the ing form of a verb is used as a noun, it is given a special name: It is called a GERUND!
Формообразование герундия характеризуется исключительной регулярностью – путем добавления к основе инфинитива окончания -ing (например, doing, singing, flying, typing, lying) за исключением глаголов, оканчивающихся в инфинитиве на немую (которая выпадает, например, rate – rating) и на -ie (которые заменяются на -y: tie – tying).
We can create a gerund from the next sentence:
People swim.
Swimming burns calories.
 subject              verb          object
So from these 2 sentences we can see that gerund as a noun can be the SUBJECT of a sentence. But in the following sentences the function of gerund is different, it continues to play the role of a noun but this time it’s THE OBJECT of a sentence:
I enjoy (WHAT?) playing tennis.
Joe gave up (WHAT?) smoking.
There are some certain verbs that take GERUND as the OGJECT! Among them:
admit (to)
Dana admitted (to) feeling hurt by what I had said.
They advise taking out medical insurance when visiting China.
I appreciate your dropping packages off at the post office on your way home.
You should avoid over-spending in the first half of the year.
can't help          
I couldn't helpthinking about the past.
can’t stand
Lily can't stand working in an office.
Students must complete writing diploma by the end of the year.
I seriously considered resigning.
Big companies often delay paying their bills.
Two men have denied murdering a woman at a remote picnic spot.
Paul hates/detests having his picture taken.
He deliberately escapes paying taxes.
keep on/go on
I finished typing the report just minutes before it was due.
Most elderly people want to continue living at home for as long as they can.
Lack of space forbids listing the names of all those who contributed.
Just imagine going all that way for nothing!
I don't mind driving if you're tired.
Ben knew he would miss working with Sabrina.
They permit smoking only in the public lounge.
postpone/put off
They've decided to postpone having a family for a while.
Today we're going to practise parking.
I wish you'd all quit complaining.
I don't recall seeing any cars parked outside.
She can never resist buying new shoes.
They may even risk losing their homes.
Joan suggested asking her father for his opinion.
Sometimes, however, the subject of the gerund and the subject of the sentence are different. When this happens, the subject of the gerund is shown by using a possessive form:
I like his singing. (The subject of like is I, but the subject of singing is he which is changed to a possessive form.)
We dislike your doing that. (The subject of dislike is we, but the subject of doing is you which is changed to a possessive form.

 This is a good rule. It has no exceptions!If we want to use a verb after a preposition, it must be a gerund. It is impossible to use an infinitive after a preposition. So for example, we say:

I will call you after arriving at the office.
Please have a drink before leaving.
I am looking forward to meeting you.
blame (someone)
forgive (someone)
have an excuse
have a reason
be responsible 
thank (someone)
for doing something
about/ of doing something
be accustomed
in addition
be committed
be devoted
look forward
be opposed
be used
to doing something
keep (someone)
prevent (someone)
prohibit (someone)
stop (someone)
from doing something
be excited
be worried
about doing something
be accused
be capable
for the purpose
be guilty
take advantage
take care
be tired
of doing something
be interested
in doing something
on doing something

There are many "go + gerund" expressions used for adventure sports and individual recreational activities.
go running
go sailing
go scuba diving
go shopping
go sightseeing
go skateboarding
go skating…
Combinations of go and a gerund aren't normally used for competitive sports. Instead, the combination go play (noun) is normal:
go play basketball / baseball / tennis
Some combinations of go and a gerund are used only at particular times of the year:
go caroling = travel from house to house singing Christmas songs (at Christmas only)
go trick-or-treating = travel from house to house wearing masks and costumes and asking for treats (a traditional children's activity at Halloween)

Special expressions followed by -ing
There are some phrases
have difficulty/ problems                                         He had some problems reading without his glasses.
have a difficult/hard/good/ time                             She had a difficult time hiking up the mountain.
spend /waste one's time                                         He always spends his time working out at the gym.
It's no use / It's no good                                           It's no good trying to persuade me. You won't succeed.
(нету смысла)
It's (not) worth ...                                                        My house is only a short walk from here.
(не стоит)                                                                    It's not worth taking a taxi.
There's no point in ...                                                There was no point in waiting, so we went.
(нету смысла)
Gerunds are not, however, all that easy to identify. The problem is that all present participles also end in ing.
When a verb ends in -ing, it may be a gerund or a present participle. It is important to understand that they are not the same.
When we use a verb in -ing form more like a noun, it is usually a gerund:
Fishing is fun.
When we use a verb in -ing form more like a verb or an adjective, it is usually a present participle:
Anthony is fishing.
I have a boring teacher.
I’ve found a poem with quite an interesting title – GOD is GERUND. 
God is Being,
God is the unfolding of a flower,
God is Nature Naturing
Spinoza expressing it
God is having ecstasy
Loving is God
Living, seeing, understanding, evolving,
Transcending, rising like bread
Remembering, tasting of red wine
God is diving into the deep,
Awakening from sleep,
Feeling, burning with passion,
Having compassion,
Finally arriving at the Beginning
Make no mistake God
Is imagining the ideal out of the real.
Here I have 2 possible tasks for you:
1)      Try to translate this piece of poetry into Ukrainian (Russian);
2)      Try to write something similar (not necessarily about God).
Wish you lots of inspiration! And look forward to reading your creative ideas!
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