Welcome to your Preposition + Verb+ing lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• The general rule
• Before / After / By / Without
• To + verb+ing
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.
The general rule
If a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb has +ing at the end:
Let’s start by cutting the onions.
What are the advantages of living in the west?
We should go out instead of staying in tonight.
Sometimes you can also add a noun before the verb:
I’m fed up with my boss talking down to me.
Instead of Brian working two jobs, why doesn’t his wife get a job?
Before / After / By / Without
Before + verb+ing and After + verb+ing:
Before working in London, I worked in Liverpool.
After watching the film I cleaned the house.
You can also say:
Before I worked in London, I worked in Liverpool.
After I watched the film I cleaned the house.
By + verb+ing:
You can apply for the job by calling the HR manager.
We start making curry by frying onions.
The accident was caused by someone driving too fast.
Without + verb+ing:
He ran the race without stopping!
Without thinking, he saved the dog from the burning building.
I’ve got enough to think about without worrying about your problems.
To + verb+ing
To is sometimes part of an infinitive:
They wanted to eat cake.
Would you like to go out tonight?
To is also a preposition:
He ran from Liverpool to Manchester.
He prefers running to reading.
I’m looking forward to the picnic on Saturday.
As already mentioned, if a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb ends in +ing. So, when to is a preposition and followed by a verb, the form is to verb+ing:
I prefer sitting at home to running in the mountains.
I’m really looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.