A gerund (often known as an -ing word) is a noun formed from a verb by adding -ing. ... Not all words formed with -ing are gerunds.

Is there an example of noun ends with -ing but it's not a gerund?


3 Answers 3


As you can see in the comments, there are many words which end in "-ing" which are not gerunds -- "filling", "thing", "icing", etc. If you're curious about the derivation of these words you can consult an etymology dictionary. Some probably originally derived from the gerund of related verbs (like "frosting"), while others simply evolved into nouns from similar-sounding older words (like "swing").

Unfortunately, while there are patterns this may not be obvious to anyone but a language expert. English a mix of several dissimilar languages and so any word can have a unique origin.


Other short words ending in ing, that can't be gerunds of a verb: ring, king, sling, sting.

A word doesn't become a noun, adjective, gerund or any other part of speech until it is used in a sentence. So, ask not what a word "is", rather ask how it is used.

For example "I enjoy drawing cats" (a gerund). "I have a drawing of a cat" (noun)

The suffix -ing is used in modern English for both participles and gerunds, this is the result of errors and confusion by Anglo-norman scribes in the 12th century, converting the participle ending -ende, first to -ind then to -ing, so it matched the gerund.

  • We could also add these nouns to your list: wing, zing, and everything.
    – Lynn C
    Aug 21, 2019 at 13:07
  • <blessing> (a fortune)
  • <drawing>/<painting> (an image)
  • <working> (a detail)
  • <wiring> (a structure)
  • <matting> (a material)
  • <funding> (a set of money)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .