A verbal noun (using the ing-form) has the same function as a noun, even though it looks like a verb. It corresponds to an infinitive: (det å kjøre på glatte veier er…) or a that-clause in Norwegian. It functions as a noun and can have the same clause functions as a regular noun.
This means that a verbal noun can be the subject, the direct object the complement of a preposition etc. The –ing-forms below are in bold:
Driving on icy roads is a risky affair. (‘(det) å kjøre på glatte veier er en vanskelig sak’)
I hate having to pretend that I enjoy such shows. (‘jeg hater å late som om jeg liker slike
The problem is finding enough people to support us. (‘problemet er å finne nok folk til å
You’ll help him by doing small repair work in his house. (‘du hjelper ham ved å gjøre små
reparasjoner i huset hans’)
Preposition + verbal nouns (-ing-form)
In Norwegian we use both the infinitive and at-clauses after prepositions. In English we have to have a verbal noun, i.e. an -ing-form.
Study these sentences:
- They look forward to meeting their friends.
- I am not used to working so hard.
- I am interested in learning to dance.
- He often talks about going abroad.
Verbal nouns after certain verbs
A number of verbs are followed by an -ing-form, for instance:
admit -tillate, avoid -unngå, delay -forsinke, deny -benekte, dislike-mislike, enjoy -like, finish -avslutte, keep -holde/holde på med, mind - bry seg om, practise -praktisere, risk -risikere, can't stand -ikke like/tåle, can't help -ikke kunne noe for.
- Do you mind passing me the salt?
- I dislike hearing you say that.
- I avoid crossing the street at this time.
Verbal nouns in fixed expressions
Some expressions are always followed by a verbal noun e.g. busy, no good, no use, worth
- The castle is worth seeing.
- He was busy making coffee.
- It's no use/no good crying any more.