What is a passive gerund in English?

This post helps you understand what a passive gerund is (a gerund in the passive voice), and how to use it in a sentence.

What is a passive gerund in English?

A passive gerund or a gerund in the passive voice is a progressive form of a verb (a verb ending with ‘ing’) that is in the passive voice and works as a noun in a sentence. A verb is used in the passive passive voice when the focus is on the receiver of the action, not the doer (subject) of the action.

A gerund (active) is an ‘ing’ form (progressive) of a verb that functions as a noun. EX – sleeping, teaching, working, talking, etc.

passive gerund in English
passive gerund in English

Check out these two examples to understand when to use a gerund in active and passive voice.

Ex – I love appreciating others. (active)

Appreciating is a gerund here, working as the direct object of the verb love. The gerund is in the active voice as the subject performs this action of appreciating.

Ex – I love being appreciated. (passive)

Here, the object of the verb love (being appreciated) is a gerund phrase in the passive voice, meaning the subject does not love performing this action, the subject loves receiving it. In other words, it means “I love that people appreciate me” or “People love me, and I appreciate that”.

This can be written using an infinitive in the passive form: I love to be appreciated. The doer of the action (appreciate) is not mentioned in the sentence as we don’t focus on the doer in the passive voice. But we can always add it to the sentence if we want to: I love being appreciated by others.

Examples of passive gerunds

Being slapped in front of your family is embarrassing.

The subject of this sentence is a gerund phrase in the passive voice: being slapped in front of your family. Here, the speaker is calling an action embarrassing. Note that doing the action is not embarrassing, receiving it is. Whoever getting embarrassed by the action does not perform the action here, they receive it.

If the action were in the active voice, the sentence would be written as the following: Slapping people in front of their families is embarrassing. Now, the meaning of the sentence has changed.

Tom is still sad about being slapped in the meeting.

Here, the gerund phrase is working as the object of the preposition about. The subject is sad about an action that he received. If he were sad about an action that had performed, the action (gerund) would be in the active voice.

Tom is still sad about slapping Jerry in the meeting. Here, in this sentence, the subject is sad about an action that he performed, not received. The gerund phrase, here, in the active voice.

Being selected for this program is a true blessing.

The speaker is calling an action he received a true blessing. The subject, here, is a passive gerund phrase.

More examples of passive gerunds:

  • I don’t like being told what and what not to do.
  • She does not appreciate being touched again and again.
  • He was not upset about being fired from the job.
  • Being cheated by someone you love is the last thing you want.
  • Joanna hates being called Jony.
  • How can you not be excited about being offered that job?
  • We are grateful about having been invited to the king’s palace.

Types of passive gerunds in English

The following forms of gerunds can be used in the passive voice:

  1. Simple gerund
  2. Perfect gerund

Simple gerund (passive form)

A simple gerund or gerund phrase refers to the present time or a time that is close to the time shown by the main verb.

Simple gerund (active voice): V1+ing
Simple gerund (passive voice): Being + past participle (v3)


  • Teaching is my passion. (active voice)
  • I hate talking to him. (active voice)
  • I don’t believe in killing animals. (active voice)
  • We love being challenged. (passive gerund)
  • I don’t care about being liked by others. (passive gerund)
  • Being liked and loved by everyone does make you feel good. (passive gerund)
  • Are you still upset about not being invited to the party? (passive gerund)

A simple gerund usually refers to the present time, but it can also be used to refer to the past in a right context. In the last example, the gerund is referring to an event in the past. But note that we use the perfect form of a gerund to refer to past actions.

Perfect gerund (passive form)

A perfect gerund refers to a past action. The time it refers to is always prior to the time the main verb of the sentence refers to. It can be both in the active voice and the passive voice.

Perfect gerund (active voice): having + past participle (v3)
Perfect gerund (passive voice): having + been + past participle (v3)


  • I am not upset about having lost the job anymore. (active voice)
  • Having gone through bad experiences makes me who I am today. (active voice)
  • The man denied having been beaten in the jail. (passive gerund)
  • I regret having been sent to the new office. (passive gerund)
  • He has admitted having been given steroids. (passive gerund)


Fill in the blanks with a passive gerund and share the answers in the comment section.

  1. I love _____. (kiss)
  2. I regret _____ this opportunity. (give)
  3. _____ by everyone is a great feeling. (love)
  4. She does not care about ____ for this. (arrest)
  5. I am scared of _____ for what I have done. (arrest)
  6. I appreciate _____ (correct).
  7. It seems you don’t appreciate _______ for the job. (promote)
  8. _____ of harassing her sexually still makes me feel terrible. (accuse)

Now, we know what a passive gerund is, how it looks like, and when to use it. Feel free to share your question, doubt, or feedback in the comment section, and also, share the post with the people that need it.

For one-on-one classes, contact me at [email protected].


What is a passive gerund?

A passive gerund is a gerund in the passive voice. In the passive voice, the focus is on the receiver of the action, not the doer (which is the case in the active voice).

Active gerund: V1+ing
Passive gerund: being + past participle

AV: I hate slapping people.
PV: I hate being slapped.

AV: We are not proud of firing him.
PV: We are not proud of being fired.

What is the difference between perfect participle and perfect gerund?

A past participle is a form of a verb that functions as a main verb or an adjective (known as a past participle adjective). On the other hand, a perfect gerund is a combination of ‘having + past participle‘. It functions as a noun.

1. I have accepted their offer. (present participle)
2. I regret having accepted their offer. (perfect gerund)

How do you use passive gerund in a sentence?

A passive gerund is used in the passive voice when the focus is on the receiver of the action (gerund).

I love being challenged.
We hate being doubted.

How is a passive gerund formed?

A passive gerund is formed differently in different forms of gerunds. Both simple gerunds and perfect gerunds can take a passive form.
Simple gerund passive voice: Being + past participle (V3)
Perfect gerund passive voice: Having + been + past participle (V3)

What is the difference between simple gerund and perfect gerund?

A simple gerund refers to the same time or close to the time the main verb of the sentence refers to, and a perfect gerund refers to a past time (a time that is prior to the time that the main verb refers to). It is also important to note that a simple gerund is more commonly used than a perfect gerund because we, in modern English, also use it to refer to the past.

Simple gerund structure (active voice): V1+ing
Perfect gerund structure (active voice): Having + past participle (V3)

Simple gerund structure (passive voice): Being + past participle (V3)
Perfect gerund structure (passive voice): Having + been + past participle (V3)

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Ashish found his first love—the English language—a few years back. Since then, he has been immersed in the language, breaking down the language and teaching it to passionate English learners. He has a flair for listening to the English language (podcasts, sitcoms, stories), observing the nuances, and making it easy for English learners. He is known for breaking down complex English topics and making them easy to be understood.

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