UNIT 58. Preposition (in/for/about, etc.) + -ing

Australia-21 grammar
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C


If a preposition (in/for/about, etc.) is followed by a verb, the verb ends in -ing:

Preposition Verb (-ing)
Are you interested in working for us?
I’m not very good at leaning languages.
Sue must be fed up with staying
What are the advantages of having a car?
Thanks very much for inviting me to your party.
How about meeting for lunch tomorrow?
Why don’t you go out instead of sitting at home all the time?
Carol went to work in spite of feeling sick

You can also say “instead of somebody doing something.” “fed up with people doing something,” etc. :
– I’m fed up with people telling me what to do.


Note the use of the following prepositions + -ing:

before -ing and after -ing:
– Before going out, I called Sarah. (not Before to go out)
– What did you do after finishing school?

You can also say “Before I went out …” and “… after you finished school.”

by -ing (to say how something happens):
– The burglars got into the house by breaking a window and climbing in.
– You can improve your English by reading more.
– She made herself sick by not eating properly.
– Many accidents are caused by people driving too fast.

without -ing:
– We ran 10 miles without stopping
– It was a stupid thing to say. I said it without thinking.
– She needs to work without people disturbing her. (or … without being disturbed.)
– I have enough problems of my own without having to worry about yours.


To -ing (look forward to doing something, etc.)

To is part of the infinitive (to do / to see, etc.):
– We decided to go out.
– Would you like to meet for lunch tomorrow?

But to is also a preposition (like in/for/about/from, etc.). For example”
– We drove from Houston to Chicago.
– I prefer tea to coffee.
– Are you looking forward to the weekend?

If a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb ends in -ing:

in doing
about meeting
without stopping

So, when to is a preposition and it is followed by a verb, you must say to -ing:
– I prefer driving to traveling by train. (not to travel)
– Are you looking forward to going on vacation? (not looking forward to go)