0

everyone. I have a question regarding the usage of "in" in this pattern:

Adjective/noun + in + V-ing

Like in this sentence:

  1. «Light takes such a long time in crossing the enormous distances and getting to us.»

But, I was wondering if it could work without "in":

  1. «Light takes such a long time crossing the enormous distances and getting to us.»

Or, even with infinitive:

  1. «Light takes such a long time to cross the enormous distances and getting to us.»

I would like to know how to use this patten, in what context and what rules I should follow to use it correctly.

I've been searching on the internet, but there is little information about this topic and it's not really helpful. Here are some other examples I found:

  1. This NPO plays a central role in proposing environmental policies.

  2. He's taking a long time in making that pastry

Thanks you in advanced, I'd be really thankful if you help me understand it.

  • 1
    All of your examples work. What is it that you have a question about in them? – David M Sep 28 '19 at 23:40
  • Hi, David. The thing is that I didn't know that "in" could be use in that structure. I want to know how to use that pattern: adjective/noun + in + V-ing. – Vale Garcia Sep 28 '19 at 23:46
  • You're using it correctly. Not sure if there's a hard and fast rule for it. – David M Sep 28 '19 at 23:47
  • Do all of them mean the same? – Vale Garcia Sep 28 '19 at 23:51
  • To my eye, yes. I'm certain we could spend hours trying to come up with an example that doesn't. But, you're doing fine. – David M Sep 29 '19 at 0:05
0

In short: your example sentences all work fine. The presence or absence of in makes little difference to their meaning and is largely styling.

As far as a rule goes, there's only one I'd suggest. Save this construct for adverbial clauses that use the gerund form.

I'm very influential in suggesting things to the boss.

I enjoy taking my time in crossing the street.

Don't use it after noun phrases that include a gerund.

Frog jumping is my favorite betting sport.

  • Thanks, David, for your help. Now I understand it. – Vale Garcia Sep 29 '19 at 0:44

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.