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  Weekly Feature (March 2, 2008)

Confusing Gerunds
by Patricia



Gerunds can be confusing. First of all, what is a gerund? Gerunds are words that are usually verbs but sometimes act as nouns.

For example, the word skiing is usually a verb like in these sentences: Three children are skiing down the hill. She is skiing on Grouse Mountain. However, sometimes skiing is a noun or gerund like in these sentences. Skiing is my favorite sport. I really enjoy skiing on Cypress Mountain. To identify if the word is a gerund see if it tells “what”.

For example, in the previous sentences, what is my favorite sport or what do I really enjoy? The answer should be skiing. We use gerunds often, so it is good to know how to use them properly.

More Information on Gerunds

 Gerunds at OWL

Gerunds at

Gerunds Practice

Look at the sentences below, and see if you can identify which ones have gerunds.

1. Skating is a popular Canadian sport. (gerund)
2. Four children are skating on the river. (verb, no gerund)
3. Some teenagers are snowboarding on Cypress Mountain.
4. Snowboarding will be a sport in 2010 Olympics.
5. Cross country skiing is very good exercise.
6. Many people are cross country skiing around Lost Lake.
7. Sliding is a fun winter activity.
8. Many children are sliding down the hill in Queen’s Park.
9. A group of school children were snowshoeing yesterday.
10. Snowshoeing is growing in popularity.
11. Studying English at the PALC is rewarding.
12. Many students are studying English regularly.
13. She enjoys reading travel books.
14. She is reading a travel book.
15. Listening is an important skill.
16. Are you listening?
17. Writing needs to be practiced.
18. He is writing a long sentence.

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