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In the past continuous tense: Can I use "v + -ing" after "during" or must I use a noun? I mean can I say: during walking, reading, etc. especially as we can't get the noun from these verbs without adding "-ing"?
Sender Ahmed_btm
Position Teacher

The verb tense has nothing to do with this. The question is whether the preposition during can be followed by a gerund (an -ing form acting as a noun).

Most prepositions can be followed by a gerund, but during is one of a few that only rarely can. Generally, if there is another noun that can be used instead of the gerund, the gerund cannot be used.
You could say during a/the/my/his, etc. walk, but not during walking.
When reading has a countable meaning — a public reading aloud from a book, such as during a religious ceremony or a promotion for a book — you could say during a/the reading. But you can't say something like Last night during reading I heard the phone ring.
I suggest that you just teach your students that during cannot be followed by a gerund. That is what would be expected on an exam. If they need to use a gerund, they should use while.
ed 29/06/11


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