I heard this sentence while watching How I Met Your Mother,

I am surprised you don't trip over your balls getting out of bed.

So my question is how can "-ing" be used with the verb "get" without also adding "after" or "while"?

Don't you think the correct phrase should either be

  1. "after getting out of bed" or
  2. "while getting out of bed" ?
  • 2
    Which sentence did you hear? – Jim Oct 11 '17 at 3:28
  • 1
    Your suggestions 1 and 2 are not sentences, either. – Rupert Morrish Oct 11 '17 at 3:45
  • This is my first question on this website so i may have made some mistake while submitting my question. My sentence was " i am surprised you don't trip over your balls getting out of bed" and my question is why there is "ing" after get without using "while or "after" before get. Actually i am used to putting while or after or when before adding ing in a verb. – kuldeep sharma Oct 11 '17 at 9:56

"He cut himself making dinner." "He cut himself while making dinner."

In the first sentence, the absence of "while" implies the act of making dinner was connected to or caused the accident. The two sentences are almost identical in meaning, but I'd use the first one when I'm annoyed--for example, maybe I didn't want to make dinner, and then I cut myself too!

"Making dinner, he cut himself."

The meaning is technically the same as above, but native speakers would never say this sentence. However, they would say

"Seeing the child in the street, the man ran to save him."

I think whether the -ing clause sounds natural at the beginning is case by case. I don't know of a rule.

With "get," I can't think of a sentence that sounds natural with "getting" at the beginning.

"I broke my toe getting into the shower." "Getting into the shower, I broke my toe."

The first sentence is okay. The second is awkward.


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