Gerunds are verbal nouns.
Like nouns, gerunds can be the subject, object or complement of a sentence:
- Smoking costs a lot of money.
- I don't like exercising.
- My favorite job is eating.
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But, like a verb, a gerund can also have an object itself. In this case, the whole expression [gerund + object] can be the subject, object or complement of the sentence.
- Smoking cigarettes costs a lot of money.
- I don't like exercising my body.
- My favorite job is reading romance stories.
Like nouns, we can use gerunds with adjectives (including articles and other determiners):
- pointless questioning
- a settling of debts
- the making of ET
- her drinking of alcohol
But when we use a gerund with an article, it does not usually take a direct object:
- a settling of debts (not a settling debts)
- Making "ET" was expensive.
- The making of "ET" was expensive.
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