1. There are a number of ways that ‘ing‘ is used in English. Sometimes ‘ing‘ is used to form a gerund. A gerund has an ‘ing‘ ending and it acts like a noun. Gerunds can be the subject or object of sentences. For example, in the sentence ‘I enjoy swimming‘, the object is ‘swimming‘ and it is a gerund. The ‘ing‘ ending is also used to form the present continuous. For example, the sentence ‘I am writing‘ describes an action that I might be doing now or around now.
2. Look at this extract from The Cook (Chapter 5) and find the ‘ing‘ structures. Decide if they are gerunds or part of the present continuous
Suddenly, shouting filled the air. She looked out the kitchen window: a fight. ‘No!’ she called, ‘Stop!’
The two dishwashers turned and stared at her.
‘They’re fighting,’ she said and pointed to two boys in the playground. The dishwashers continued to drink their tea. One said, ‘It happens all the time, dear. Don’t worry about it.’ She looked out the window again. Now there was a crowd around the two boys. ‘Don’t go out there,’ said the other dishwasher, ‘it’s not safe.’
3. Look at these sentences and decide if the underlined words are gerunds or part of the present progressive
a. Driving a car and talking on a phone at the same time is illegal in many countries.
b. Look at him: he’s driving and talking on his phone at the same time.
c. Talking and chewing food at the same time is rude!
d. Looking at someone’s answers in an exam is cheating.
e. Look! He’s doing it again – he’s copying her answers!