Verb Patterns: 'after certain verbs' Notes

watch the Verb Patterns: 'after certain verbs' video

  • there are plenty exceptions to most of the groups we've designated, and some verbs don't really fit into a group.
  • among the list of whether to use the 'to ____' form or the '____ing' form is "habits".  This is not another group like the ones we cover in this video (such a group might include verbs like tend, continue, be used to, or can't help, for example).  In fact, "habits" doesn't even refer to the first verb in the Verb Pattern (verb pair).  Instead, it refers to the second one.  If the second verb is something you do regularly, you probably use the 'to ____' form



Gerunds Notes

watch the Gerunds video

  • It's easiest to introduce gerunds as activities as opposed to actions.  However, keep in mind that we can make gerunds out of stative verbs as well as action verbs.  For example, in "Being sick is no fun," 'being' is not an activity, but it is a gerund.
  • Traditionally, Gerunds were not any noun ending with -ing, but only those which retained the properties of verbs yet did not take on the properties of nouns.  For example, the word 'writing' is a gerunds in "She enjoys writing poems," but it is not a gerund in "Her writing is remarkable".  The latter would instead be categorized as a participle noun.  In the first instance, 'writing' is an activity; in the second, 'writing' is something tangible (and is the product of the activity of writing; the same goes for words such as 'building' and 'painting').  However, there are plenty of times in which the usage is ambiguous; the -ing word could take on the properties of wither verbs or nouns, thus muddling the distinction.  Most modern linguists consider both versions to be 'gerunds'.
  • The video points out a few ways gerunds can be modified, but one of the ways we didn't mention was through adverbs.  Here's the total list of how gerunds can be modified or distinguished:


  • compounds
  • prepositional phrases
  • adverbs


  • compounds
  • prepositional phrases
  • adjectives
  • determiners
  • Some linguists would categorize Gerunds as a type of active Participle noun (we at Insights agree with them); other linguists count Gerunds as separate from Participles.
  • For more complex structures, you could place the -ing at the end of the first helping verb instead of the main verb.
  • We don't use any punctuation to set apart a gerund phrase.  We could have a similar or even identical sentence (in terms of word) for which the -ing phrase is set apart by commas or other punctuation, but in that case the participial -ing phrase would act like a modifier, most likely an adverb.


Related Printouts

  • Verb Patterns: 'after certain verbs' lists by group (letter) (A4)
  • Properties of Gerunds (letter) (A4)


Next in the Series

Verb Patterns: an overview

There are other rules other than the 'after certain verbs' rule.  We'll take a look at some of those.

Verb Patterns: Reporting Verbs

Our 'after certain verbs' video deliberately left out a large group: reporting verbs.  That's because 1) there are plenty of sub-groups within that group and 2) reporting verbs are often considered separately; English books tend to place these in the Reported Speech section.  So it's worth putting these in their own video.

parts of speechErik Arndt