Backpacking, verbs with -ing, gerunds

You’ve probably seen a lot of verbs with -ing at the end of them, like sleeping, talking, or walking. There are two basic reasons to add -ing to the end of a verb: to form one of the progressive tenses or to make a gerund.

We use the progressive tenses to talk about on-going actions. There are progressive tenses for the past, present, and future. For example, the present progressive looks like this: “I am walking to work right now.” Progressive tenses are formed with be + main verb + -ing, as in, “Joe stopped by while I was watching a movie.”

Verbs ending in -ing can also be gerunds, which act like nouns in a sentence. In the sentence, “I do the cleaning and my wife does the cooking,” both cleaning and cooking are gerunds. Gerunds often follow other verbs, as in, “I can’t stop thinking about you,” or, “I love skating.” Andy uses a gerund when he says, “I’ve done lots of hiking.”

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