The gerund is commonly used after quite a few different verbs. The most important of these verbs are shown below. All of these verbs can be followed by nouns instead of gerunds. Remember, gerunds always function as nouns in sentences. Some of these verbs can also be followed by a that-clause. The verbs that require additional usage explanation are displayed as links which lead to more detailed pages.
Verbs which can be followed by nouns or gerunds
- I avoid going to the dentist.
- I avoid chocolate.
- I miss taking walks in the morning.
- I miss England.
- I have finished working.
- I have finished the cake.
Verbs which can be followed by nouns, gerunds, or a that-clause
- I can't imagine living in that big house.
- I can't imagine a purple unicorn in my yard.
- I can't imagine that he lied on purpose.
- I understand French.
- I understand fishing pretty well.
- I understand that you would prefer to stay.
Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or by an infinitive. When this is the case, the meaning of the two will be identical for some verbs, but different for others. Detailed pages go into the individual verbs which can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive with equivalent meaning and verbs which can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive with different meanings.