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I saw him crossing the road.
I saw him cross the road.

Which one is correct and why?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

They are both correct, grammatically speaking. However, they have slightly different meanings.

I saw him crossing the road.

... suggests that you saw a male person in the middle of crossing the road (he was probably walking in the middle of the road toward one of the sides). But, you didn't necessarily see him get to the side of the road

I saw him cross the road.

... suggests that you saw him do the entire action of starting on one side, walking across, and ending up on the other side.

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1  
I was just in the process of writing almost the exact same thing when you posted yours. :-) –  Hellion Jan 23 '11 at 4:12
    
Thank you, that makes sense!! –  GPEnglish Jan 23 '11 at 4:17
    
Is the 'to scross the road' the object of 'saw'? or the complement of 'him'? –  lovespring Jan 23 '11 at 8:31
    
@snooze Yes, it is the object of saw. This construct is know as complex object. –  Alexey Ivanov Jun 16 '11 at 14:58

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