Gerund as Subject, Object or Complement

Try to think of a gerund as a noun in verb form.

Like nouns, gerunds can be the subject, object or complement of a sentence:

But, like verbs, a gerund can also have an object itself. In this case, the whole expression (gerund + object) can be the subject, object or complement of the sentence.

Like nouns, we can use gerunds with adjectives (including articles and other determiners):

When we use a gerund with an article, it does not usually take a direct object:

Do you see the difference in the following two sentences? In one, "reading" is a gerund (noun). In the other, "reading" is a present participle (verb).
  1. My favourite occupation is reading.
  2. My favourite niece is reading.
Explanation

In #1, "reading" is a gerund (like a noun):

  main verb complement
My favourite occupation is reading.
My favourite occupation is football.

In #2, "reading" is a present participle (verb):

  auxiliary verb main verb
My favourite niece is reading.
My favourite niece has finished.