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I'd like to know whether verbs that come after one preposition, such as the ones below, must be in the -ING form.

  • I'm interested In doing this
  • His life depends On working
  • He is good At learning languagues
  • What is the advantage Of having a car?
  • Why don't we go out instead Of sitting on here?

All verbs that came after one preposition "Of, In, At.." are written in the -ING form, is this a rule for every verb that comes after one preposition just like the examples above?

Many people didn't get my question, so I rewrote it.

I'm actually almost sure that they can only be written in the -ING form if one preposition is placed before them, because I have never seen: I'm interested in do this or He is focused on do his homework. However, I'd like to know whether or not there is one specified rule for this.

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    Interesting question. My answer is "sort of", but I think you're looking at it from the wrong end. It's not "verbs preceded by a preposition must be gerunds", but "these prepositional phrases require nouns, not verbs, so if you want a verb there, you have to make it a gerund." For example, you can say I'm interested in cars but not "I'm interested in fix cars" or "I'm interested in to fix cars", because you must have a noun phrase there. – stangdon Jan 10 '17 at 13:32
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    No, some prepositions take infinitivals, past participials and content clauses as complement: "We couldn't decide on how to proceed. – BillJ Jan 10 '17 at 14:43
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    @YouknowwhoIam - Not exactly. Consider I want to fix cars. To is definitely a preposition, but you don't use a gerund form after it. – stangdon Jan 10 '17 at 15:11
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    "All verbs that came after one preposition "Of, In, At.." are written in the -ING form, is this a rule for every verb that comes after one preposition just like the examples above?" -- Close, but no cigar. The problem is, you think in terms of words in a string, rather than constituents in a sentence. A counter-example: The man you're falling in love with did this. – Damkerng T. Jan 10 '17 at 16:56
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    No, I didn't mean love. I meant did. – Damkerng T. Jan 10 '17 at 17:06
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Generally speaking, the answer is a resounding yes: all verbs that follow a preposition should end in ing. Why is that true? Well, think about it for a second. What exactly is a preposition in English? An encyclopedia typically describes a preposition as a word preceding a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause. So, in order to be in accordance with the rules of English grammar (this might not be true in other languages such as French), you need a noun or pronoun after a preposition. But we want to use a verb! Well, that's where gerunds come into play. All highbrow theories on what gerunds really are in English aside, in layman's terms, they are nothing but verbs acting as nouns. And that's how you resolve this problem.

Of course, the aforesaid does not apply to situations when a preposition is part of a phrasal verb because in that case they are not prepositions in their own right anymore—they intrinsically become part of a two- or three-word phrase.

Example:

You need to be seriously messed up to give your own children drugs.

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