Consider this sentence:

I saw them swimming in the lake.

How is "swimming" used in the sentence? Is it a gerund or verb or anything else and how is it connected to the sentence? I am mostly aware of basics but really can't understand this usage of "swimming in the lake" and how it is directly connected to main sentence.

Can anyone do a complete grammatical break-down of the sentence?

  • Consider this sentence: "Them swimming in the lake was the most surprising thing I saw all summer." Are you sure your own sentence doesn't simply have the very same object as mine has subject? And if it does, does looking at it this way clarify matters for you at all? Notice especially how my sentence has a singular verb not a plural one. – tchrist Jan 9 '19 at 4:50

Participle, which is a verbal, namely a verb used as an adjective. Modifies "them."

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