Perfect gerund in English

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perfect gerund in English
perfect gerund in English

This lesson helps us understand what a perfect gerund is, and how to use it in a sentence.

What is a gerund in English?

A gerund is an ‘ing‘ form of a verb that functions as a noun. Ex – teaching, talking, speaking, etc.

Examples:

  • Dancing can help you lose weight.
  • Teaching is my passion.
  • We love singing.
  • She is very passionate about cooking.

What is a perfect gerund in English?

A perfect gerund is a gerund phrase that refers to a past action and functions as a noun. It can be in both the active voice and the passive voice.

perfect gerund in English
perfect gerund in English

Perfect gerund structure (active voice): Having + past participle

We should not be upset about having lost to them anymore.

The gerund phrase (in red) is working as the object of the preposition ‘about’. The subject (we) is asking their group not to be upset about a past action. The perfect gerund is in the active voice as the subject of the main verb is the subject of the gerund phrase.

I am grateful for having made the mistakes I made. It made me a better person.

The subject is grateful for something (an action) they did in the past. Here too, the perfect gerund phrase is working as the object of the preposition ‘for‘.

I don’t regret having slapped that guy.

The perfect gerund phrase is working as the object of the verb regret. The subject doesn’t regret an action he performed in the past.

Last night, my driver admitted having stolen some cash from my wallet a few days back.

In this sentence, the subject admitted an action that had performed in the past. We can use (and generally use) a simple gerund for past actions too. Simple gerunds are usually used to refer to the present.

Having studied a language you need for a job gives you an upper hand.

What gives you an upper hand here? The action that happened in the past, in form of a perfect gerund, gives the speaker an upper hand in the present.

Simple gerunds referring to past actions

  • We should not be upset about losing to them anymore.
  • I am grateful for making the mistakes I made. It made me a better person.
  • I don’t regret having slapped that guy.
  • Last night, my driver admitted having stolen some cash from my wallet a few days back.

Perfect gerund structure (passive voice): Having + past participle

The man denied having been beaten in the jail.

The perfect gerund phrase, here, is in the passive voice. The subject denied an action that he had received. In the passive voice, we focus on the receiver of the action, not the doer.

I regret having been sent to the new office.

The subject regrets an action that he received in the past. The perfect gerund, here, is working as the direct object of the verb ‘regret‘.

Having fired from the job turned to be great for me.

Here, the gerund phrase is referring to a past action that worked out great for the speaker. The perfect gerund is working as the subject of the sentence.

Practice set!

Fill in the blanks with a perfect gerund in either the active voice or the passive voice, and share the answers in the comment section below!

  1. _____ gives me confidence to do it better. (do)
  2. Do you regret ____ that night. (go)
  3. Are you ashamed of _____ multiple times. (have)
  4. He will never admit ______. (steal)
  5. I am proud of ______. (reject)

We, now, know what a perfect gerund is, how it looks like, and when to use it. Do share your question, query, or feedback in the comment section. And please share the post with others to help them.

For one-on-one classes, contact me at englishwithashish@gmail.com.

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