The Use of Gerunds after Prepositions

How is it going ABA friends?

In general, gerunds are tricky to get the hang of, but how do we know if we need to use them after prepositions or if we need an infinitive instead?

Gerund or infinitive?

In English, if you are going to have a verb after a preposition, the rule is simple- it must ALWAYS be in the gerund form. That is to say that it must always end in “-ing”.


  • They went straight to sleep after arriving.
  • She is excited about seeing her new puppy for the first time
  • Try to rest before travelling

It is interesting to note that these examples can also be said with nouns instead of the gerund which maintain the same meaning that is portrayed above.


  • They went straight to sleep after their arrival
  • She is excited about the meeting with her new puppy for the first time
  • Try to rest before your journey

What about infinitives?

Infinitives will NEVER be used after prepositions ONLY GERUNDS. Prepositions are followed by a noun clause, therefore if you wish to use a verb after it, it must be the gerund as this acts as noun.

After reading this, are you going to practise more?

As explained, this rule has no exceptions so is very easy to remember. What is important however, is to make sure that you can identify all of the prepositions when they appear. This will help you know a gerund comes afterwards if you are using a verb instead of a noun. 

For more information on this grammar point and more, sign up for free with ABA and check out unit 111


  1. It seems to be a fine idea learning English here …

  2. Thank you for these useful information..

  3. It is an excellent idea for help the people which want to improve literar English

    • George Talbot


      Thanks for your comment. Everyone at ABA is glad that you think it is an excellent idea. Keep up the good work 🙂

  4. Maybe she’s tired Learning English today?

  5. Julio Carlos Guerrero Hill

    Hi, George, would you please give an explanation to me about the following topic I have to solve?
    • Native Languages: Mixed
    • Target Language: English.
    • Background Information: Intermediate level, students on an intensive course.
    • Data Source: student compositions.

    What are the IL generalization that might account for the forms in parentheses on the following examples.
    Soccer is the most common sporting. (sporting)
    America refused continual supported our military request. (supported)
    About two hours driving eastern from Bangkok. (eastern)
    After finished my college studied, I went to my country. (studied) Doctors have the right to removed from him. (removed)
    I am not going to get married when I will graduation the school. (graduation) There is a night for asleep. (asleep)
    Moreover it may lead to conflicting. (conflicting)
    1. Work out an IL generalization that might account for the forms in parentheses. Give your reasons for postulating this generalization.
    2. What strategy/strategies do you think these learners have come up with regarding lexical use?
    3. What additional information, if any, would you like to have from these learners to test your hypothesis?

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