Unit 6.2

Gerunds as Subjects

Nouns

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Introduction

The gerund is a verb that functions as a noun referring to an action, a process or a state.

We can use gerund as the subject of the sentence.

Form

When the gerund is a noun, it can be the subject of the action described by the verb.

It has this structure:
Subject [Gerund] + Verb + …

The most commonly used gerunds are: building, buying, living…

Example

  • Smoking cigarettes is bad for you.
  • Buying a house is his dream.
  • Living in the city centre can be stressful.
  • Building a career as an artist was one of her biggest goals.
  • Writing a poem was harder than he expected.

Use

We can use gerunds as a singular noun, so it can be the subject of the sentence.

Summary

The –ing form is commonly used to create nouns and verbs. When used as a noun, it is considered a gerund. In this case, it can be used as the subject or complement of the sentence.

The structure is: We start with the subject, which has the form of a gerund, followed by a verb.

When it is used as the subject, the verb form is singular, conjugated as the third person singular, and it doesn’t accept degree verbs.

For example:
— “Driving fast is dangerous.” = Gerund driving is used as the subject of the sentence.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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