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Meta: I found a very similar post asking the difference between "I saw him cross" and "I saw him crossing". I have three additional questions on sentences of this form.
In the post I am referring to, the accepted answer was "I saw him cross the road" implies I saw the entire event of him crossing the road and "I saw him crossing the road" implies I saw him in the middle of the crossing but I didn't wait to see whether he finished crossing the road.
Q1. But what if we watch instead of see? Consider the sentences below.
I watched her dance alone in the room.
I watched her dancing alone in the room.
Watch implies something that goes on for a while. But does the original explanation still hold, i.e. does the first sentence imply I watched the entire dance and the second imply I did not?
Q2. What if you see actions that are almost instantaneous? Does the explanation still hold good? Here is an example:
I saw a flash of lightning strike the pole.
I saw a flash of lightning striking the pole.
Here, we cannot stop seeing in the middle of a lightning since it happens so fast. Does that make the second sentence wrong or can we still use either sentence to mean the same thing?
Q3. Which of the sentences below is/are correct?
I caught her steal the diamond ring
I caught her stealing the diamond ring
When you catch someone in the act, that person could not finish the act. So does that make the first sentence incorrect?