: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


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Unit 24 the ing form


 The -ing form can be used as a noun (in this case it is also called a gerund).

Marketing requires careful planning.


 It can also be part of a noun phrase.

Combining two financial groups successfully is always a difficult task.

(BusinessWeek Online website)


 -ing form as an adjective B


 The -ing form can be used like an adjective, before a noun. My working day

starts at nine and finishes around six thirty.


 -ing form after prepositions C


 We use the -ing form after prepositions.

Wal-Mart became successful by selling high volumes at low prices.

We never launch a new product without doing extensive market research.


 We use to + infinitive to explain why we do something (this is called 'the infinitive of purpose'): We're doing this to reduce costs.

But we use to + -ing when to is a preposition: Outdoor posters are an alternative to using expensive TV advertisements.


 Some verbs have to used as a preposition.

Examples include: look forward to, object to, be used to, get used to, prefer ..... to ...... , respond to.

I'm looking forward to seeing you next week.

I'm not used to having such a short lunch break.


 -ing form used to begin a clause D


 An -ing clause can give more information about a noun.

Very few farms are in a position to benefit from the EU market. Look at

Poland, where there are two million farms employing over a quarter of the population, to see the problem at its worst. (Business Central Europe website)



Since it was brought out last autumn, sales of the new software have been very slow.(=to produce a new product, a book, CD etc.)

 An -ing clause can give the reason for an action in the past. / went over to him, thinking he was the manager, but he said he was a sales assistant. (= because I thought he was the manager)

The negative is formed with not.

Not being used to the company culture, I found it hard to fit in.


 An -ing clause can describe a background situation for another action.

Walking into work this morning I met Celia who used to work in Personnel.(=

as I was walking into work)


The negative is formed with not.


I started the job not knowing what to expect.



The governor worked hard to build up the states electronic

industry.(=to develop and improve something)



Exercise 1 (A, B)

Match the beginnings of sentences 1-8 with their endings a)-h).


1 Manufacturing in the UK has been  a) manufacturing sector.

2 In the UK, the service sector is now b) is now almost completely automated, much more important than the  c) manufacturing.

3 In the UK, services are now much d) in decline for many years, more

important than  e) need a lot of investment.

4 Our manufacturing process  f) concentrated in the Katowice area.

5 We're going to invest heavily  g) in manufacturing over the next few years.

6 Car manufacturing in Poland is  h) lot of investment.

7 Developing and promoting Poland's manufacturing base will 

8 Developing manufacturing in Poland will need 


Exercise 2 (A,B)

For each sentence in exercise 1 above, decide if the word manufacturing is a noun or an adjective.


Noun: ..... Adjective: .....


Exercise 3 (B)

Complete the sentences with adjectives formed from the verbs in the list below in their -ing form.

tire welcome confuse last interest wear cut shop sell meet


1 It's been a very ..... day, I need a drink to help me relax.

2 There's a ..... point in front of the ticket office. I'll see you there at six.

3 They're building a new ..... centre by the motorway exit.

4 Her presentation was very ..... , although perhaps a little ..... for who were new to the subject.

5 This carpet is very hard - ..... , and so it will be very long - ..... .

6 The new reception area should be ..... , not cold and formal like before.



The restaurant was closed down by the Environmental Health

Department.(=to stop a business or an organization)

7 This is ..... - edge technology, you won't find it anywhere else in Europe.

8 Its design is one of its strongest ..... points.


Exercise 4 (C)

Underline the correct words.


1 Thanks for calling, and I look forward to meeting/meet you at the conference.

2 Thanks for calling, and I hope to meeting /meet you at the conference.

3 I'm expecting to taking/take the train to work when I move into the new house.

4 I don't object to taking/take the train, but I prefer coming to work by car.

5 I can help you with your spreadsheet, I'm used to working/work with Excel.

6 When I was in my twenties I used to working/work as a sales consultant.


Exercise 5 (C)

Complete each sentence by choosing a preposition from list A followed by an - ing form from list B.

A: after without by of before instead of

B: leaving using being going increasing taking over


1 ..... ..... university I worked in IT recruitment for a while.

2 I was aware ..... very nervous at the start of my presentation.

3 Vodafone grew ..... local operators.

4 ..... on, I'd just like to look at this graph in a little more detail.

5 If it's urgent I could take it there myself ..... a courier.

6 The Fed is hoping to reduce inflation ..... interest rates.


Exercise 6 (D)

Cross out two unnecessary words in each sentence.


1 A lot of the firms which are developing Bluetooth are based in Cambridge.

2 The woman who is replacing Kay Walker used to work at Saachi.

3 The thing that is worrying me most is the fluctuation in oil prices.

4 The visitors who are coming this afternoon are a Japanese Trade Delegation.


Exercise 7 (D)


Match the beginnings of sentences 1-6 with the most appropriate ending a)-f).


1 Speaking to Mike,  a) he gave his credit card to the waiter.

2 So, concluding my presentation,  b) I realised that the situation was hopeless


3 Insisting that he be allowed to pay,  c) Id just like to sum up the main points again.


During the recession a lot of business had to cut back.(=to reduce the amount of money that you spend, or the amount of something that you use)

4 Of course I didn't say anything,  d) not regretting my actions for one moment.

5 I just took it all for granted,  e) not wishing to offend him.

6 I resigned the next week,  f) not appreciating the work that was involved.


Exercise 8 (D)

Rewrite the underlined part of each sentence using an -ing clause. Note that in some examples there is a negative form.


1 I got to the airport at ten because I expected the flight to arrive on time.

I got to the airport at ten , ..... .

2 I didn't understand the language so I found it hard to get around on my own.

..... , found it hard to get around on my own.

3 I invested 5,000 in a China fund because I hoped that the market would go up.

I invested 5,000 in a China fund, ..... .

4 As I wasn't an experienced negotiator I think I made too many concessions.

..... , I think I made too many concessions.

5 I assumed she wouldn't mind so I asked her about her annual salary.

..... , I asked her about her annual salary.

6 I said yes because I didn't know it would create so many problems.

I said yes, ..... .



Last night railway workers looked likely to go ahead with their strike.(=to do something that you have been planning or preparing to do)

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