Ah, the “ing” word: taking, shooting, sleeping…truly any word can be an “ing” word and that’s a good thing. If something starts happening while I’m sleeping, I want to know.

When do we need to watch our “ing”? 

  1. When it’s accompanied by “was.”  So, if I “was sleeping” when something happened and now my sleep’s been interrupted, that’s fine. But if I was feeling sad and just wanted to go home, then I could be in passive voice.
    1. So, “I was feeling sad, so I went home.” can become “Sadness washed over me and all I wanted was the comfort of my bed.” (or some such.
  2. The other time to watch your “ing” is when it starts a sentence:
    1. “Taking the cue was an easy thing.”  At this point, we don’t know who is doing the taking. So, clarify: “Taking the cue, the conductor lifted his stick and the orchestra began to play.”