"I hate not being able to control my temper."

From my understanding, hate is one of those verbs that is followed by a gerund OR an infinitive. In this situation, is "being" a gerund?

From EF.com https://www.ef.com/ca/english-resources/english-grammar/using-hate-love/ the verbs "to hate", "to like", and "to love" The verbs hate, love, like, & prefer are usually followed by a gerund when the meaning is general, and by the infinitive when they refer to a particular time or situation. You must always use the infinitive with the expressions would love to, would hate to, etc. These verbs can also be followed by a that-clause or by a noun.

  • 5
    The gerund phrase "not being able to control my temper" is used exactly as a noun would be: "I hate [broccoli][injustice][the way my shoes fit][not being able to control my temper]" and so on.
    – Robusto
    Nov 8, 2021 at 22:27
  • Thanks, I thought so!
    – meepyer
    Nov 8, 2021 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


being in this case heads a gerund-participial clause. It has the internal structure of a complex-intransitive clause with adjunct not.

(my/me) [understood subject]

not [adjunct - negation]

being [verb at the head of the clause]

able to control my temper [subjective predicative complement]

These are also known as -ing clauses or present participle clauses depending on who you ask. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar p217

-ing clause A non-finite clause whose verb phrase contains a verb ending in -ing as its head. Also called present participle clause, -ing participle clause, and gerund-participial clause. Examples:

The boss hates him always complaining about everything

I love working late

Notice that the first example contains its own subject, whereas the second example does not.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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