When referring to the Oxford dictionary, I found a usage of the word "Condone" like this: "Condone sb doing sth" which means forgiving or pardoning some action of somebody even when that action is probably wrong or immoral. However, when I tried to plug this structure in my sentence, I got hindered!

Her mother condoned her doing illegal transaction.


Her mother condoned she doing illegal transaction.

Which one is correct?

Personally, I think that "she" is suitable since it serves as a subject of the successive phrase "doing illegal transaction". Since I got flummoxed, I would like if someone can explain explicitly this situation explicitly for me? I will appreciate any help.

  • I can't find the actual example; could you please provide a link. M-W has: condone to treat (something bad) as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless <I can't condone his actions.> The indicated direct object is an action, practice, belief ... rather than a person. "Condone sb's doing sth" would work. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 9 '16 at 17:30
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    Either use singular her doing an illegal transaction, or pluralize to her doing illegal transactions. Your version isn't a valid (gerund-based?) noun phrase referencing something which could be condoned (or condemned, more likely! :) – FumbleFingers Jul 9 '16 at 17:33
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    Whether it's gerund-based or not would be more obvious if she has a sex-change operation, giving his doing an illegal transaction vs him doing an illegal transaction. – FumbleFingers Jul 9 '16 at 17:37
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    @FumbleFingers Perhaps the sex change is the illegal trans-action the mother condoned. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 9 '16 at 17:39

In general, subject pronouns are only used when they are subjects of finite verbs.

In this case, the daughter is not—she's the subject of a non-finite verb, more precisely a gerund. When the subject of a gerund is a pronoun, it is either an object pronoun or a possessive pronoun:

I don't like him doing this.
I don't like his doing this.

Possessive pronouns are more formal and the only ones considered ‘correct’ in traditional (= Latinate) grammar, but object pronouns are just as common, if not commoner.

So you can choose quite freely between object and possessive pronouns in your example here, but subject pronouns are not an option.

Even more commonly, though, condone takes a simple noun phrase, rather than a gerund phrase, as its object. So “Her mother condoned her illegal transactions” would be more common than “Her mother condoned her illegal transactions”.

Note: “doing illegal transaction” is not English. I'm not even entirely sure what you're trying to say—are you implying that the daughter was transferring money to/from someone she wasn't legally allowed to? Transactions should probably be plural, or if not then at least it must have a determiner, “an/the illegal transaction”. Do is also not commonly associated with transaction. Carry out is more commonly used.

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