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A gerund is a verb form used as a noun. It is formed by adding -ing to the present these of a verb. Gerunds can be used as subjects, direct objects, objects of prepositions, and complements.



Subject: Fishing is a popular activity in Nyanza Province. (Fishing is a gerund, the subject of the verb is)

Direct object: The sport involves riding. (riding is a gerund, the direct object of the verb involves)

Object of preposition: The sport is similar to fencing. (fencing is a gerund, the object of the preposition to).

A gerund phrase includes a gerund, its modifiers, objects or complements.

It always functions as a noun.



Becoming a Tusker Project fame finalist was Msechu’s lifetime dream. (gerund phrase is the subject of the sentence).

Msechu dreamt all his life about winning the top award. (the gerund phrase is an object of the preposition about).

One of Msechu’s biggest disappointments was losing to Alpha. (the gerund phrase is a complement).

The game involves jumping over hurdles. (object of the verb involves).



Underline the gerund or gerund phrases in the following sentences and label each one subject, direct, object, object of preposition, or complement.

  1. In early days, golfing was a game for the rich.
  2. The rich were mostly interested in protecting their status.
  3. Playing golf with a commoner would mean lowered status.
  4. Much of the rich people’s time was spent playing the game.
  5. Training thoroughly improved a golfer’s accuracy in the game.
  6. There he learned about playing the game.
  7. Later, he started contesting with other junior golfers.
  8. At fifteen or sixteen, he began playing with the professionals.
  9. Participating in international tournaments was the golfer’s dream.
  10. But the greatest dream was winning an in international title.




  1. Golfing – complement
  2. Protecting their status – object of the preposition in.
  3. Playing golf with a commoner – subject
  4. Playing the game – direct object
  5. Training thoroughly – subject
  6. Playing the game- object of preposition
  7. Contesting with junior golfers – subject
  8. Playing with the professionals – direct object
  9. Participating in international tournaments – subject
  10. Winning an international title – complement


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