The Gerund developed from the verbal noun, which in cause of time, became verbalized, retaining, however, some nominal characteristics.

  • The nominal character of the Gerund is manifested in its syntactic functions, - its main functions are the subject, the object and the predicate.

    Walking along the sea shore will bring you a world of good.
    Прогулки вдоль берега моря будут вам очень полезны.

    I don't approve of your having let us down.
    Я не одобряю того, что вы подвели нас.

    His hobby is collecting coins.
    Его хобби - коллекционирование монет.

  • Another nominal characteristic is that the Gerund can be used with prepositions.

    I insist on his being sent to this business trip.
    Я настаиваю, чтобы его отправили в эту командировку.

  • The Gerund can be modified by the possessive pronouns or by nouns in the possessive case.

    The doctors insist on my giving up smoking.
    Врач настивает на том, чтобы я бросил курить.

    You can rely on Nick's doing this work well.
    Ты можешь положиться на Ника, он сделает работу хорошо.

Still the Gerund is a verbal part of speech having some verbal characteristics:

  • The Gerund can be modified by an adverb.

    I hate speaking loudly.
    Ненавижу, когда громко разноваривают.

  • The Gerund of transitive verbs can take a direct object.

    Making this program took four months.
    Нужно четыре месяца, чтобы написать эту программу.

  • The Gerund has tense and voice distinctions, - it has two tenses and two voices.

    Active Passive
    Indefinite writing being written
    Perfect having written having been written

    The Indefinite Gerund denotes an action simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb and the Perfect Gerund - and action prior to it.

    I don't approve of your being late for the lesson so often.
    Я не одобряю то, что ты так часто опаздываешь на занятия.

    I don't approve of your having signed the document.
    Я не одобряю то, что ты подписал эти документы.

    However there are some exceptions to this rule:

    • After the verbs to remember, to excuse, to forgive and to thank the Indefinite Gerund is used even when priority is meant.

      Я помню, что где-то видел вас.
      I remember seeing you somewhere.

      Простите, что заставил вас ждать.
      Excuse my keeping you waiting.

      She couldn't forgive him saying such things about her.
      Она не могла забыть, что он говорил такие вещи о ней.

      The mother thanked the doctor heartily for saving her child.
      Мама сердечно поблагодарила врача за спасение ее ребенка.

    • After the prepositions on (upon), without, after and at (the later in adverbial modifier of time only), the Indefinite Gerund is used even if priority is meant.

      At hearing his voice she startled.
      Услышав его голос она заплакала.

      On coming into the room she closed the window.
      Зайдя в комнату она закрыла окно.

      After tying his horse to a tree and giving it some water he went to look for the forester.
      Привязав свою лошадь к дереву и дав ей воды он пошел искать лес.

      He left without saying good-bye to anybody.
      Он ушел не попращавшись ни с кем.

    There are some exceptions connected with the use of the voices too, - after the verbs need, to want (in the meaning of нуждаться), to deserve (заслуживать) and the expression to be worth (быть стоящим, стоить) the Active Gerund is used even if the meaning is passive.

    The flat wants repairing.
    Этой квартире нужен ремонт.

    The child deserves praising.
    Этого ребенка нужно похвалить.

    This book is worth reading.
    Эту книгу стоит прочитать.