We make the -ing  form by adding -ing  to the base verb and adjusting the spelling as necessary:

  • work ‚Üí working
  • sit ‚Üí sitting
  • smoke ‚Üí smoking

We use the -ing  form in various ways as shown below.

-ing Form for Continuous Tenses

The -ing  form is used in past, present and future continuous tenses, for example:

  • Anthony was¬†fishing.
  • The boys have been¬†playing¬†tennis.
  • We will be¬†working ¬†when you arrive.

-ing Form as Subject, Object or Complement

We can use the -in g form as the subject, object or complement of a clause, for example:

  • Smoking ¬†costs a lot of money.
  • I don't like¬†writing.
  • My favourite occupation is¬†reading.

Sometimes the -ing  form can also have an object itself. In this case, the whole expression [-ing  + object] can be the subject, object or complement of a clause or sentence.

  • [Smoking¬†cigarettes ] costs a lot of money.
  • I don't like [writing¬†letters ] and I hate [reading¬†emails].
  • My favourite occupation is [reading ¬†detective stories].

-ing  Form with Adjectives and Determiners

  • pointless¬†questioning
  • a¬†settling ¬†of debts
  • the¬†making ¬†of this film
  • his¬†drinking ¬†of alcohol

Note that when we use the -ing  form with an adjective   or  determiner , it does not usually take a direct object. Compare these sentences:

  • Making ¬†this film was expensive.
  • The making of¬†this film was expensive.
    not  The making this film

-ing  Form after Preposition

If we want to use a verb after a preposition, it must be in -ing  form. It is impossible to use an infinitive after a preposition. So, for example, we say:

  • I will call you¬†after¬†arriving ¬†at the office.
    not  I will call after to arrive at the office.
  • Please have a drink¬†before¬†leaving.
  • I am looking forward¬†to¬†meeting¬†you.
  • Do you object¬†to¬†working¬†late?
  • Tara always dreams¬†about¬†going ¬†on holiday.

-ing Form after Certain Verbs

We sometimes use one verb after another verb. Often the second verb is in the to-infinitive  form, for example:

  • I¬†want¬† to eat.

But sometimes the second verb must be in -ing  form, for example:

  • I¬†dislike¬†eating.

This depends on the first verb. Here is a list of verbs that are usually followed by a verb in -ing form:

  • admit, appreciate, avoid, carry on, consider, defer, delay, deny, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, escape, excuse, face, feel like, finish, forgive, give up, can't help, imagine, involve, leave off, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, put off, report, resent, risk, can't stand, suggest, understand

Look at these examples:

  • She will¬†consider¬†having ¬†a holiday.
    not  She will consider to have a holiday.
  • Do you¬†feel like¬†going¬†out?
  • I¬† can't help¬†falling ¬†in love with you.
  • I¬† can't stand¬†not¬†seeing¬†you.
Some verbs can be followed by the -ing  form OR the to-infinitive  form without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start
  • I like to play tennis. / I like playing tennis.
  • It started to rain. / It started raining.

-ing Form in Passive Sense

We often use the -ing  form after the verbs need, require and want.

In this case, the -ing  form has a passive sense.

Look at these example sentences. Notice that this construction can be in any tense:

  • I have three shirts that¬†need¬†washing . (need to be washed)
  • I sent it back to the shop because it needed¬†fixing . (needed to be fixed)
  • This letter¬†requires¬†signing . (needs to be signed)
  • The contract will require¬†signing ¬†tomorrow. (will need to be signed)
  • The house¬†wants¬†repainting . (needs to be repainted)
  • Your hair's wanted¬†cutting ¬†for weeks. (has needed to be cut)
Note that the expression "something wants  doing" is used more in British English than in American English.

sources : Original Link