Gerund phrases

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  • susantash
    16 April, 2007 at 12:27
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi everyone!
    This is the first time I enter this forum.
    I’d like someone to give me a hand with this teaching point. I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about its use and I’d like you to confirm or to (opposite of confirm? ) my hipothesis. Having in mind that I have to use very simple words I thought I could say they’re used to talk about actions. (Although I’m not too pleased with the term; they don’t always describe actions)

    Any suggestions about what they describe?

    Thanks a lot!

    Sue Swift
    16 April, 2007 at 14:47
    • Total posts: 26

    Reply To: Gerund phrases

    Hi susantash,

    You’re absolutely right that gerunds describe actions – but they have various uses, all of which need to be taught at different levels and in different ways :

    a) As a noun describing various activities : He teaches skiing; Today we’re going to do some writing. including in compound nouns a writing lesson, a skiing instructor

    b) As a complement of BE : The part of my job I hate most is dealing with customer complaints.

    c) As the subject of the sentence : Sitting in the sun makes me feel ill, Walking gives me backache

    d) After prepositions : Thank you for letting us know; I look forward to meeting you

    e) Used after other verbs : I hate flying, I don’t remember saying you could do that!

    f)Used after various expressions like It’s no good … It’s not worth … : It’s no good sending him a message – he never checks his E-mail.

    Don’t try and introduce all of these at once! Usually, students meet gerunds (other than as part of the continuous form) first after verbs of likes and dislikes (I love skiing, I hate studying etc) Then at intermediate level the other uses would be gradually brought in.

    For articles on ELT methodology and practical activities –

    5 June, 2007 at 4:18
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Gerund phrases


    A quite simple way to explain gerunds to beginners is to say that it is the name of an activity.

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