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26
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the name for the process which turned “iced cream” into “ice cream”?

There are several words (mostly related to food) which are shortenings of their historical forms. For example, the cold treat ice cream was originally known as iced cream in the 1680s. The -ed ending ...
26
votes
3answers
32k views

What's the difference between a gerund and a participle?

What is the difference between a gerund and a participle?
20
votes
9answers
8k views

Can anyone give me a grammatical explanation as to why “that being said” is proper English?

A certain pedant is claiming that beginning a sentence with "That being said" is grammatically incorrect owing to the apparent logical contradiction in claiming that something in the past (e.g. the ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

When can the -ing form of a verb be placed before a noun?

My native-speaker's grammatical intuition tells me that: There is a sleeping man under the tree. is fine but There is a fishing man by the river bank. is wrong. Why? I've thought about ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

“Poison” is to “poisoned” as “venom” is to what?

As the title says, poison is to poisoned as venom is to what? I tried looking up venomed but it means something different. Is there such a word?
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “This being…” mean here?

This being Silverlight, you’d expect there to be some way to get the XAML representation of the selected text—and you’d be right. What does the clause 'This being Silverlight', and especially ...
9
votes
1answer
481 views

What is this ‘-ing’ structure?

Consider the following sentence: The Bactrian camel is well adapted to the extreme climate of its native Mongolia, having thick fur and underwool that keep it warm in winter and also insulate ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

“IT projects gone awry…” Qualifying a reduced relative clause rule

"IT projects gone awry because they were conceived on too massive a scale, and good money thrown after bad, are financial nuisances far from unique to the Beeb." ['Beeb' = BBC] I've been trying to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do non-native English speakers get the present participle wrong?

I see people saying things like this: With a new infusion of cash it allows to make the film. ...instead of... With a new infusion of cash it allows making the film. I can't find a ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Past participle of a verb created from an acronym

Standard GPL would require that those applications be GPL'd (or compatible licensing), whereas LGPL requires only the library's source to be made available. Is the use of words like GPL'd common ...
6
votes
2answers
425 views

Participial clause?

On ELL a user has asked how to parse the emphasized -ing form in this sentence from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry swung at it with the bat to stop it from breaking his nose, and ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Works as expected vs. is working as expected

Which one of these is the correct one? The registers testcase checks that the module's register interface works as expected. The registers testcase checks that the module's register interface is ...
6
votes
3answers
820 views

superlative + -ing participle + noun ok?

Is it always ok to have a superlative hyphenated with a present participle ending in -ing acting as an adjective (so long as the superlative describes the base verb of the participle)? For example: ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

“Sour cream” versus “soured cream”

Does anyone besides my husband insist on adding an -ed to sour cream? Etymonline dates "sour cream" to 1855, but has no mention of "soured", so I don't think this is analogous to "iced tea" or "ice ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

Is there a verb that doesn't take the participle form when used in Present Perfect?

I remember about a month ago I was speaking to a friend and I said a Present Perfect sentence like "I have [VERB]". I forget the verb but I remember it was an everyday verb, not something exotic. But ...
5
votes
1answer
859 views

Why call them infinite/finite verbs?

The infinite, in my understanding, means huge/countless. So in what sense can we call a verb huge/countless?
5
votes
1answer
888 views

Looking forward to follow vs. following

I was reading this today: We look forward to following your progress. Am I correct in thinking that it is missing a be or -ing should be removed? So We look forward to be following your progress. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

When is it correct to start a sentence with a participial phrase?

Spending an hour in the beauty salon, Melissa got a facial with a steam mist. Are there cases where starting with a participial phrase is not correct?
5
votes
1answer
922 views

Participle phrase; is the grammar correct?

Beatrice, nine, sent a letter to the actor asking for piracy lessons to help lead a mutiny against the teachers. What does the asking participle phrase act as? Why is participle phrase used ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

“I don't bother to do” vs “I don't bother doing”

Which one of these sentences is correct? I don't bother to study. I don't bother studying.
4
votes
18answers
2k views

What is the word meaning “going on and on for miles and miles”?

Edit: I was walking down an intolerably long sidewalk one day, and every time a mounted another hill, I saw more of it seeming to stretch out before me. It got me to thinking: is there a word for ...
4
votes
5answers
979 views

How do you create the adjective form of an irregular verb such as “read”?

If I understand correctly, some adjectives can be derived from verbs. For example, an interested person is someone who is interested in me, and an interesting person is someone who is interesting to ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

“Melted” vs “molten”

Is there any difference (e.g. regionality) between the two forms of the past participle of melt (melted and molten)?
4
votes
3answers
630 views

Is this use of present participle grammatically correct?

We are a Zhongguancun-based English training school looking for native English speakers from the US and Canada. If you are interested in this position. Please send your CV and photo to [email ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

Is “workingest” used as often and casually as “hardest working” and “the most hard working (or industrious)”?

I found the phrase America is “the workingest nation” on earth in the following sentence of Time magazine’s (November 14) article titled “Whatever happened to upward mobility.” For the first time ...
4
votes
3answers
517 views

The wild flowers looked like a soft orange blanket _______ the desert

The wild flowers looked like a soft orange blanket ______ the desert. A. covering B. covered C. cover D. to cover I chose C. I thought that 'looked' is a past participle and 'cover' would ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“otherwise directed” vs. “directed otherwise”?

I've seen conflicting usage of the two phrases below, and I wonder which is grammatically correct and why: Do something unless directed otherwise. Do something unless otherwise directed.
4
votes
4answers
454 views

Existential sentence…in the passive voice?

Now, a friend over the internet wanted me to explain the passive voice to him. He began by providing his story's "readability statistics" of Microsoft Word, which said that 7% of his sentences were ...
3
votes
8answers
3k views

“Visualized” equivalent adjective for audio

Are there such words as "audiolized" or "audibilized"? EDIT: Merriam-Webster has the word Audibilized indexed with no definition! What I was trying to achieve was to say that something is an ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between “blurry” and “blurred”?

The two quotes below discuss the same topic. Terry's tortured season took a surreal twist on Tuesday when a blurry image resembling him appeared on cigarette packets in India. GUARDIAN A ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

progressive forms: participle or gerund?

Progressive forms of verbs consist of a form of to be + participle. At least that is what most English grammars say or they are imprecise and speak of ing-form. My question is what follows after the ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Advanced rules for shortening relative clauses with a participle?

Once again, a problem encountered while marking German pupils' exams. We teach them the following rules: A present participle can be used to shorten an active relative clause: The boy who ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

Past participle of “fly” [closed]

In a song by Coldplay, Paradise, I found the sentence Away she flied. I'm Italian, and I was not sure that flied could be a form of the verb fly or some other word unknown to me. I looked it up in the ...
3
votes
2answers
437 views

Is “hanging bats” a participial phrase, gerund phrase, or simple noun phrase?

In the sentence "Hanging bats populate most of the caves in North America," what is the role of "hanging bats"? I believe it is a simple noun phrase containing the participle "hanging" (which ...
3
votes
1answer
875 views

Use of “very” to modify verb participles used as adjectives - correct or not and why?

I have seen several obituaries with this kind of wording: "He is very missed." It looks and sounds wrong, perhaps because "very" can modify adjectives ("He is very tall") and adverbs ("He walks very ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Will the comma suffice to indicate whether the subject or the object is being modified?

There are two separate meanings I'm trying to convey with the following two sentences: 1) "I painted my brother sitting against the wall." 2) "I painted my brother, sitting against the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Participle phrase — what can it modify?

Must a participial phrase always modify the subject of a sentence, or can it modify the object?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between saying a place is “well-lighted” versus “well-lit” or is it just stylistic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between “well-lighted” and “well-lit”? I feel that "well-lit" means there is enough light whereas "well-lighted" ...
2
votes
2answers
258 views

“Connection to/with the server was/has been lost”

Which one is correct? Connection to the server was lost. Connection to the server has been lost. Also, should to or with be used with server?
2
votes
2answers
409 views

What is the correct form of “advance” in the sentence: “My advance search”?

Which form is correct? My advance search. My advanced search. I ask this in comparison to "simple" that does not have a 'ed' form. My simple search.
2
votes
2answers
420 views

Dangling Participial Phrase [closed]

Here’s the original: The veterinarian was caught off guard when, regaining consciousness, we were again attacked by the cat. My rewrite of this sentence is either: The veterinarian was ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between a preposition and a participle?

See title. I really have nothing else to add!
2
votes
2answers
364 views

checking parts of speech pattern of this sentence

I wonder if the following sentence is grammatically correct. Foobar is a novel, set in a scenic landscape of farmland and ancient woodland on the banks of the River Foo. I suppose the word "set" ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the correct use of present participle and “by” in a sequence of actions?

When writing a sequence of actions that happen after each other I get regularly confused about the correct use of the present participle. For example in: A: I prefer learning by gaining an ...
2
votes
3answers
646 views

Four-word phrase stress

I'm interested to learn why the following four-word phrases have stress on different words. "Little Red Riding Hood" (stress is on little and riding) "Infamous National Rifle Association" ...
2
votes
2answers
392 views

Order of participial adjective

I'm proof-reading a thesis by one of my friends and there's some recurring construct which I always mark as false but I'd like to check with you. In the comments I was told that the example I ...
1
vote
5answers
194 views

Is “Linux-dependent” right?

I have a C program which depends on Linux system libraries. Which is right: This program is Linux-dependent. This program is Linux-depending. Google search gives me some examples of the ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

“I'm not being” or “I'm not been”?

I'm not been able to make up my mind or I'm not being able to make up my mind? Which one is the correct sentence? Why is it correct and why is the other one incorrect? Edit 10/09/2012: ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

To use “to” or not to? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gerund or infinitive: When to use which? You like to read books. You like reading books. The second second sentence seems to be better than the first. Why is ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is that an adverbial participle? Should there be a comma?

I found the following sentence: In part of my spare time, I work on fun projects. I am not sure as to whether there should be a comma. If it is there, then this obeys some rules, for example on ...