Special expressions followed -ING

Grammar: Special expressions followed by -ING

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-ING verb forms are commonly used in English for everyday communication. In this lesson, we are going to learn about special expressions followed by -ING.

Special Expressions followed by -ING

GO + Gerund

Go is followed by a gerund in certain idiomatic expressions to express, for the most part, recreational activities.

go hiking / go shopping / go birdwatching / go boating / go sailing
go dancing / go camping / go canoeing / go kayaking/ go fishing 
go skiing / go jogging / go hunting / go skating / go sightseeing 
go skateboarding / go swimming / go snorkeling / go window shopping

Special Expressions followed by -ING form

In English, there are some special expressions that are followed by an -ING form of the verb.

  1. a.) have fun/a good time + -ING
    b.) have trouble/difficulty + -ING
    c.) have a hard time/difficult time + -ING
    – We had fun / We had a good time playing.
    – I have trouble finding his house.
    – I have difficulty talking to him.
    – We had a hard/difficult time working with this team.
  2. a.) spend + expression of time or money + -ING
    b.) spend + expression of time or money + -ING
    – We spend most of our time learning English.
    – He spent $10 buying that toy car.
    – They wasted money buying the used boat.
  3. a.) sit + expression of place + -ING
    b.) stand + expression of place + -ING
    c.) lie + expression of place + -ING
    – She sat at her desk writing a letter.
    – I stood there wondering what to do next.
    – The children are lying in bed reading comic books.
  4. a.) find + pronoun/noun + -ING
    b.) catch + pronoun/noun + -ING
    – When I walked into my office, I found George using my telephone.
    – When I walked into my office, I caught a thief looking through my desk drawers.
    * Note: both find and catch mean ‘discover”. Catch often expresses anger or displeasure.

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