Gerunds are verbs in noun form. In Japanese, gerunds are called 動名詞 (どうめいし; doumeishi).

Here are some examples of gerunds.

  • I started writing a letter.
  • Playing baseball is fun.
  • We like eating ice cream.

Continuous tense verbs are not gerunds. For example, the following sentence doesn't have a gerund.

  • I am working.



  • Students might translate "started doing" as 「して始めた」. Here a better translation is 「することを始めた」. The latter translation is more accurate, and you probably want to use it, even if you don't explain why.

See also