I am doing teaching

A teacher told me that it's totally incorrect.

I thought that we may use "double participle" together. But I think "teaching" is a noun over here. As I am doing work. "Work" is a noun, similarly, I took my original sentence like it but I am still unclear about it. I will be thankful to you if you explain it to me nicely.

  • 1
    I'm not clear on what your question is, but my guess is that your teacher feels that teachers should be held to a higher standard than journalists, who feel they can do journalism, scientists, who feel they can do science, and businesspeople, who feel they can do lunch.
    – JEL
    Sep 4, 2016 at 9:13
  • Maybe related to deverbal nouns. Worth reading. :)
    – NVZ
    Sep 4, 2016 at 9:22
  • Good point @JEL. I find the construction 'doing teaching' uncomfortable but I'm quite happy with 'doing shopfitting', 'doing signwriting' and 'doing programming', I wonder why that is? By the way I have been a programmer but never a teacher.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 4, 2016 at 9:54
  • My question is : Can we use "doing" + "teaching" together? Sep 4, 2016 at 14:18
  • 1
    Bill Nye does science. Oct 14, 2016 at 21:30

3 Answers 3


I am doing teaching.

is grammatically correct.

I is the subject of the main clause.
am is a helping verb where the verb tense is present continuous.
doing is the main verb. It is the *present participle" of to do.
teaching is the direct object. It is the present participle of *to teach".

sentence structure:
(noun) + (helping verb) + (main verb) + (direct object)

Both doing and teaching are present participles. However, present participles have the ability to be 3 parts of speech: noun, verb, and adjective.

In this case, the doing present participle is a verb.
the teaching present participle is a noun (aka a gerund).

sentences with the same sentence structure:
I am doing homework.
I am doing a marathon in December.

  • 1
    I am doing teaching may be technically grammatically correct, but it sounds extremely awkward to me.
    – Kevin
    Dec 22, 2016 at 18:32

Yes, you can use doing + teaching together. Here is an example that might make your teacher feel more comfortable:

I'm doing some private teaching in the afternoons this year, so I won't be able to meet with you after school. Why don't you stop by my classroom during your lunch period?

Your teacher may feel that beginning and intermediate students need some simplification.


It's not ungrammatical, as other answers mention, but it is not what most people would say.

Using the Corpus of Contemporary American English, I get 2 results for "doing teaching".

The phrase that I would use is "I'm teaching"; "am teaching" gives 51 hits.

Both phrases use the present continuous tense. However, the first phrase is uncommon due to the horror aequi principle:

The horror aequi principle involves the widespread (and presumably universal) tendency to avoid the repetition of identical and adjacent grammatical elements and structures. — Gunter Rohdenburg, “Cognitive complexity and horror aequi as factors determining the use of interrogative clause linkers in English”, in Rohdenburg and B. Mondorf, Determinants of Grammatical Variation in English, 2003.

(There are some great answers about this principal here, including this one.)

In other words, it's not wrong because it's ungrammatical; it's "wrong" because it's in violation of the horror aequi principal.

  • I like that, @ Laurel. It answers the question in my comment above. I can accept "doing shopfitting", "doing signwriting" and "doing programming" because "doing" has two syllables and the occupations have more than two so avoid the horror aequi principal. "Teaching", however has two syllables so "doing teaching" falls foul of the principal as do "doing driving", "doing singing" and so on. I hadn't noticed that.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 4, 2016 at 20:55
  • @BoldBen I think it's also why the sentence in aparente001's answer seems OK. It adds a phrase between the two -ing words and that's what makes the problem seem to vanish.
    – Laurel
    Sep 4, 2016 at 22:30

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