-1

In my last writing exam I wrote:

... when I decided to address the matter to the headwaiter, he rudely recommended delivering any sort of complaint by writing. Offering no prompt solution to the situation.

My teacher pointed out that the second sentence starting with a gerund as wrong. She said that it was an unfinished idea with no proper connection to the rest of the text. But I don’t get what she meant; to me, it sounds okay. However, I am thinking in my native language and I'm overlapping rules, structures and such.

Could someone explain this to me?

  • 1
    Ask your teacher. – AmE speaker Sep 30 '17 at 19:35
  • 'Offering' here is not a gerund according to almost all usages of the term. 'Offering no prompt solution to the situation.' is a deleted form of 'He was offering no prompt solution to the situation.' or ': so he was offering no prompt solution to the situation.' etc. 'Offering' is verb-orientated. // The deleted version is a fragment, often considered sub-standard in formal prose. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 30 '17 at 22:22
1

By definition, a gerund is a participle acting as a noun. So "Offering no prompt solution to the situation" has no verb and is therefore a sentence fragment. It would be fully understood in spoken English, would be acceptable in informal writing, but might well be unacceptable in formal writing.

The problem can solved by recasting the sentences slightly:

"..., his rude recommendation of delivering any complaint in writing offered no prompt solution to the situation."

Now you have a noun as subject, namely "recommendation," and a verb, namely "offered."

Or you could use a gerund as follows:

"Writing offered no prompt solution to the situation."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.