A gerund is an –ing form that acts like a noun. Therefore, gerunds are sometimes called verbal nouns.
In this lesson we will take a look at some of the most common errors in the use of gerunds.
If you want to use a verb form after a preposition, use a gerund, not an infinitive.
Incorrect: I am thinking to write a novel.
Correct: I am thinking of writing a novel.
Incorrect: We were prevented from enter the room.
Correct: We were prevented from entering the room.
A noun or a pronoun used before a gerund should be in the possessive case.
Incorrect: They insisted on me resigning the post.
Correct: They insisted on my resigning the post.
Incorrect: They objected to John playing for the other team.
Correct: They objected to John’s playing for the other team.
Note that the possessive case should not be used with a gerund when the gerund is in the passive or when the noun or pronoun denotes a lifeless thing.
Incorrect: We were shocked at President Kennedy’s being assassinated.
Correct: We were shocked at President Kennedy being assassinated.
Incorrect: There is no danger of the roof’s crashing.
Correct: There is no danger of the roof crashing.