I saw a sentence like

After laying in bed talking and playing, we started dining on hamburgers

Is it grammatically correct or just a spoken usage?

  • 2
    Could you clarify your question? Are you just asking if the sentence is correct? (This could be considered proofreading and as such is off-topic) I'm also concerned you think "grammatically correct" and "just a spoken usage" are mutually exclusive!
    – JMB
    Oct 1, 2015 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


That is grammatically correct use of a gerund. Here, laying is the object of the preposition "after".

  1. A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding "-ing."
  2. Infinitives are the "to" form of the verb.
  3. Both gerunds and infinitives can be used as the subject or the complement of a sentence. However, as subjects or complements, gerunds usually sound more like normal, spoken English, whereas infinitives sound more abstract.

Gerunds function as nouns. Thus, gerunds will be subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions.

There are actually three gerunds in your sentence:

After laying in bed talking and playing, we started dining on hamburgers.

is the same as

"After laying in bed talking and playing, we started to dine on hamburgers."

The gerund sounds more natural in conversation, although that's a lot of gerunds in one sentence.

Present participles, on the other hand, complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.

...we started to dine/started dining

  • I mean,shouldn't there be a comma after "bed" ? Like "after laying in bed,talking and playing,...blablabla" or "after laying in bed and talking and playing...blablabla".
    – 오준수
    Oct 2, 2015 at 11:05

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