Posted by: Idioma Extra | July 15, 2010

Thursday Tidbits

Gerunds after prepositions


There are many rules in English grammar that vary or have exceptions. One rule, however, that is consistent is the use of gerunds after prepositions. A gerund is a verb in the –ing form that, when used after a preposition, acts as a noun. Here are some examples:

I apologized for arriving late to the meeting.

Last night I dreamed about winning the lottery.

She is thinking of taking a vacation day next week.

Why do they object to divulging their personal information?

So, is there an exception to this rule in the following examples?

I used to drive to the mountains.

I am used to driving to the mountains.

The answer is no, this is not an exception to the rule. The reason is that in the first example, the verb is used and stands alone. It is not a phrasal verb and does not take a preposition. Therefore, it’s followed by the infinitive, to drive. In the second example, to be used to is a phrasal verb, ends in a preposition and therefore, according to the rule, is followed by a gerund, driving.

Check Yourself

Complete the following exercises with the correct form of the verb. In some cases, the form may not be in gerund form.

1. My cold prevented me from _____________ (participate) in the marathon.
2. He decided  ______________ (change) careers and study medicine.
3. My friend didn’t feel like ___________________ (see) the movie with me last night.
4. My boss talked me into _____________ (work) this weekend.
5. After ________________ (sign) the papers, he was free from any responsibility.
6. He finally talked about starting _____________ (clean) the garage after months of procrastination.

Now choose from the list of prepositions to complete the sentence. There are more prepositions than examples.

From     in     toward     for     to     with     about     on

1. My mother blamed me ____ breaking the window.
2. When learning a language, you can’t only focus ___ studying one aspect.
3. The team finally succeeded ___ defeating the world champion.
4. Most people look forward ___ relaxing on the weekends.
5. The couple was arguing ___ selling their house.

Answers from last week’s Check Yourself

1.Both Tom and Peter (live) in a suburb of Chicago.
2. Either he or they (are) going to take care of the problem.
3. Neither my aunt nor my grandmother (wants) to come to my celebration.
4. Both my father and my brother (intend) to finish the project.
5. Neither sally not the children (believe) in the tooth fairy.
6. Either Jack or I (have) been chosen to represent the team.
7. Both the students and the teacher (believe) in evolution.
8. Either the uncle or the aunt (sends) the boy a birthday card every year.
9. Neither Jennifer nor Katherine (was) ale to attend the party last week.
10. Either the participants or the sponsors (are) going to make a donation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: