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  Examples of different ways gerunds can be used:  

Camping is fun.

Gerund as subject of the verb


I like camping. Gerund as object of the verb
My parents taught me all about camping. Gerund as object of the preposition. Usually use a gerund after a preposition.
Tom has to finish eating dinner before he can watch TV.
NOT: Tom has to finish to eat dinner before he can watch TV.
There are many verbs that use gerunds as the object of the verb. "Finish" must be followed by a gerund. An infinitive can not follow "finish". (Most dictionaries will indicate if the verb is followed by a gerund or an infinitive.)
I want to go swimming. Use a gerund after "go" to express an activity (usually a sport or recreational type of activity).

When I was young, I spent all my summers reading books and relaxing in my backyard.
Tom wasted his whole weekend watching TV.

Use a gerund to tell how time is used.

Tom had fun skating yesterday.

Mary had difficulty answering the TOEFL questions.

Use a gerund after:
have + fun/trouble/difficulty/a hard time
have + fun/trouble/difficulty/a good time
have + fun/trouble/difficulty/a difficult time
Tom sat at the table eating his dinner.
Mary stood at the corner waiting for the bus.
Barbara was lying down resting before dinner.
Use a gerund after:
Sit/stand/lie + expression of place
Bill heard Tom singing. (Bill heard Tom sing)
Mary saw Bill walking home.
Tom smelled the toast burning.
Use a gerund (or the simple form) after a verb of perception, for example: see, hear, feel, smell, notice, watch, listen to
Sam enjoys not working on Fridays.
Not studying properly is a common problem for new students.
To indicate a negative, place the word "not" before the gerund.
Present: I admit stealing the money.

Past: I admit having stolen the money.

Past: I already admitted having stolen the money.
The gerund can be used in the past:
Having + past participle form of verb.
The past gerund action occurred
before the main verb action:
First: I stole the money
Second: Now, I admit the theft

First: I stole the money
Second: Then, I admitted the theft

Present passive: I appreciate being invited to the party.

Past passive: I appreciate having been invited to the party.
The gerund can be used in the
Present passive: being + past
participle form of verb

Past passive: Having + been + past participle form of verb

Tom was angry about Bill's losing
$1000 at the horse race.

I appreciate your inviting me to the party.
A possessive noun or pronoun can
modify a gerund.
This sentence means: Bill lost $1000
at the horse race. Tom was angry
about that.
This sentence means: You invited me to the party. I appreciate that.