Prepositions with -“ing”

Prepositions with -ing

There are lots of fixed expressions in English that go with the -ing form of the verb (gerund). 

If a preposition (in/on/at, etc.) is followed by a verb, then the verb is put into its gerund (-ing) form.

  • Are you interested in learning Spanish?
  • I am not very good at remembering new vocabulary words.
  • They are completely fed up with waiting.
  • What are the disadvantages of living in a city?
  • This knife is only for cutting bread.
  • How about coming over for dinner on Thursday?
  • Instead of listening to his boss, he decided to do on his own.
  • Thomas went to work in spite of feeling ill.

You can also use the -ing form of the verb in the following cases:

Before – ing and after – ing

  • What did you do before coming to class today?
  • After leaving school, he started his own IT business.

Here you can also say;

  • What did you do before you came to class today?
  • After he left school, he started his own IT business.

by + ing to answer the question “how”

  • How did he break into the house? He broke in by climbing through an open window.
  • How can you improve your English? You can improve your English by practicing every day.
  • How do you start this machine? You start this machine by pressing the red button.

Without – ing to talk about something that did not or should not happen.

  • I ran ten kilometers without stopping.
  • I left the meeting without anybody seeing me.
  • I need to work without being disturbed.

The tricky “to”

“to” marks the infinitive form of the verb, but it can also be a preposition.

  • We decided to visit France next year. (verb marker)

When “to” is a preposition, then you use the -ing form after it.

  • I am looking forward to seeing you next week. (preposition)
Scroll to Top