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I grew up in East Tennessee, and there the 'a-' prefix before the present participle (never the gerund) was in common use and still is in limited use, although now mostly by older people. I'm acomin', Hit's arainin' hard, He's a runnin' for it - all those and many more were common. [The Hit's is not a typo - in some positions, 'hit' was used instead of 'it.' ...


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That's interesting. I hadn't been aware of "perfect infinitive" or "perfect gerund" monikers. But thanks to your clear examples, I can see that there is no way these could be named in parallel with the former three, because the "tense" of have does not change. It seems as if "have" or "having" have no tense at all (or rather, that they can adapt to any ...


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As the ing-form can be participle and gerund and as both can stand before a noun as in running shoes you have to decide by logic whether it is a participle as in "a weeping girl" or a gerund. The transformations of gerunds as in running shoes are "shoes for running" or "shoes used for running", cooking apples are apples used for cooking, a cleaning lady ...


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I would say it clearly is a gerund because older forms show the remainder of a preposition prefixed to the gerund as in 1 We went a-hunting. This can only be "We went to (the) hunting. German still has the comparable form in 2 Wir gingen zum Jagen (zum = zu dem). Literal word-for-word translation: We went to the hunting ( no idiomatic English). As to ...



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