A gerund is a word that looks like a verb, but functions as a noun in the sentence. Gerunds are formed by using the -ING form of the verb – reading, swimming, studying, etc. – but when it comes to grammar, they act as nouns.
Here are some common ways to use gerunds in English:
AS THE SUBJECT OF A SENTENCE:
Swimming is a great workout.
Reading books can help you learn new vocabulary.
Eating junk food can cause weight gain.
AS THE OBJECT OF THE VERB “TO BE”:
My favorite activity is hiking.
One of your duties is taking notes in meetings.
His biggest mistake was trusting the salesperson.
He doesn’t enjoy my singing.
Her cooking is simple but tasty.
The baby’s crying woke me up.
They left without saying goodbye.
I went to the gym after finishing my work.
You can improve your English by taking a course.
This knife is great for chopping vegetables.
AFTER SOME PHRASAL VERBS:
I put off starting the project until the last minute. (put off = delayed)
She keeps on bothering me when I’m trying to concentrate. (keeps on = continues, does repeatedly)
We ended up cancelling the picnic due to bad weather. (ended up = finally took the action)
I look forward to meeting you next week. (look forward to = anticipate, be excited about)