Understanding gerunds

WHEN they teach grammar,

 English teachers emphasise that the word

“to” is always followed by verbs in the base forms.

For example:

a) to meet

 b) to go

c) to write

As students, we listen and follow.

We think we understand until we come across the following:

a) to meeting

 b) to going

c) to writing.

What is happening here?


a) Sharul is looking forward to meeting you.

b) Syahrel is committed to going to the conference.

c) This is the guide to writing a good blog.


The confusion stems from the fact that some English teachers fail to explain about gerunds. (base form of verb + ing).

Gerunds are verbs that act or function as nouns.

In other words, they are ‘noun-like verbs’.

Examples of gerunds can be seen in the following:

a) I love jogging.

b) Running is good for your health.

Jogging and running in the above sentences cannot be considered as verbs since they are not indicating “an action” or “a movement”. Rather, the words indicate “a name (thing)” which nouns are used for.

Compare these:

a) I love jogging in the garden. (gerund)

b) He is jogging in the garden. (verb)

In English, these are some of the examples of words and phrases that are usually followed by gerunds:

go, love, mind, enjoy, avoid, suggest, discuss, mention, complain about, dream about, think about, talk about, (be) worried about, (be) excited about, apologise for, (be) responsible for, believe in, succeed in, (be) interested in, look forward to, (be) capable of, instead of, take advantage of, take care of, insist on, in addition to, (be) committed to, object to, (be) used to, (be) opposed to, (be) accustomed to, prevent from, prohibit from, stop from.


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