Hot answers tagged

16

Although it sounds correct and could pass without a glance, if you examine the logic of the sentences, they mean something slightly different. An on-screen keyboard allows people with mobility impairments to type data using a joystick or a pointing device. The first sentence states that people with mobility impairments use the joystick and pointing device ...


14

Believing your teacher would be a mistake.  (Did you see what I just did?)


11

First, this is a specialist term. Much like vocabulary in medicine, engineering, math and sciences, software development, etc. The same term may be used across these domains with radically different meaning. As such it must be noted while this most certainly is an important term in the IT domain, use outside of this domain is probably a mistake. Solutioning ...


11

tl;dr Despite running being in origin the -ING inflection of the verb to run, in your “a running experiment” example, it is no longer a verb and therefore ᴄᴀɴɴᴏᴛ be either a gerund or a participle either. A rule of thumb is that “No verb = No gerund–participle”. Here it’s almost certainly an adjective because it passes the Predicate Test, but it may under ...


10

Starting a sentence with a word ending in -ing is perfectly ordinary, accepted, unremarkable English. Beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph; gerund, participle, or simply a word with that particular spelling— it does not matter. Living in an English-speaking environment, you would quickly realize that there is no proscription against it, as it is natural ...


10

In your examples, "enlightening" is best seen as an adjective and "running" as a VP comprising a gerund-participle form of the verb as head. Taking "running" first: it fails the usual tests for adjectivehood: (a) it can’t be modified by "very" (* The very running man); (b) it can’t occur as complement to complex-intransitive verbs like "become" (* It ...


9

Both sentences are correct. They have a different meaning. “Try to” implies that the action that is attempted may or may not succeed. Try to give up candy; maybe you will succeed in refraining from eating candy, or maybe you will succumb to the temptation and eat candy anyway. “Try + -ing” indicates that the action may or may not have the desired result. ...


9

It's much easier to do parts of speech if we don't confuse them with grammatical relations/syntactic functions , and if we don't get distracted by inflections. A verb is still a verb, regardless of which inflected form it is in. We'll also need to say a bit about what kind of grammar we subscribe to. The type of grammar that I work with regards pronouns ...


8

Afraid of takes a noun phrase, such as I am always afraid of snakes which is often a non-finite clause with a verb in the gerund (-ing form) I am always afraid of falling I am always afraid of looking stupid I am always afraid of walking alone at night. Here the clause contains a passive verb, so the gerund is formed with the gerund of the auxiliary be: ...


8

This form of the verb is conventionally called a gerund. From the outside, a gerund works partly like a noun, because it can be the object of a verb, just like a normal noun: Agnes suggested sending off a balloon. Agnes suggested group therapy. Both the gerund phrase and the normal noun phrase have the same function in the main clause, that of an object. ...


7

I grew up in East Tennessee, and there the 'a-' prefix before the present participle (never the gerund) was in common use and still is in limited use, although now mostly by older people. I'm acomin', Hit's arainin' hard, He's a runnin' for it - all those and many more were common. [The Hit's is not a typo - in some positions, 'hit' was used instead of 'it.' ...


7

No. To drench is a verb meaning to saturate something with water or make it extremely wet. If you said "I am drenching" that means that you are the active agent causing something else to get wet. For example, it would be perfectly reasonable to say: I just drenched those anchovies in salad dressing. Similarly, where the rain is the agent of the wetting ...


7

I think your colleague is wrong. Somebody has noticed a partial pattern and has elevated it to rulehood. The use of infinitive (with and without to) vs gerund is purely syntactic, depending on the subcatgorisation frame of the matrix verb. It is only incidentally and weakly semantic.


7

The key to understanding this usage is the preposition “to” which comes after the expression “look forward:” Look forward to something means to be pleased or excited that it is going to happen. The ‘to’ in look forward to is a preposition, so we must follow it by a noun phrase or a verb in the -ing form: I’m looking forward to the holidays. A: ...


7

Unfortunately, the linked answer is very vague, and not correct. It does point out correctly that gerunds are more common as subjects than infinitives. But it certainly doesn't provide any rule that works. The British Council is right. It depends on the predicate in every case, and often both are OK. The examples given are both correct, and illustrate a ...


7

Yes There are constructions called zeugmas (after Greek ζεῦγμα, 'a yoking') where a word or phrase is intentionally made to apply to two or more others in a sentence despite functioning differently for each. The horde of words in English that can function as various parts of speech mean that zeugmas can be created where a single word simultaneously acts as ...


7

Nothing wrong with that sentence, 'Queueing' here is a gerund, essentially a noun. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gerund


7

I would interpret them differently. "I hate Jill singing those songs" implies that you hate her actions (singing) when she sings those songs. Whereas "I hate Jill when she is singing those songs" emphasises that you hate her (Jill) when she sings rather than hating her singing.


6

This is a strange theory that is provably wrong. It is easy to trace "I am working" back to determine that it has not developed from "I am at working", and it is obvious that the rheinische Verlaufsform is different from the English Present Progressive in other ways, not just the preposition. For starters, it uses the nominalized bare infinitive, and it uses ...


6

My impression is that 'the way of doing' tends to be descriptive - i.e., a description of the current state or practice of doing something, whereas 'the way to do something' is prescriptive; there tends to be an insinuation that the listener had better do it that way. "This is the way to do it" == Do it this way! "This is the way of doing it&...


6

To take the last question first: no, the forms in the examples in the question here are not gerunds. They are verbal nouns. Morphologically speaking, gerunds and verbal nouns are indistinguishable in English: they both end in -ing and are identical both to each other and to the present participle (which is a different kettle of fish that I’ll leave out of ...


6

The distinction between a participle and a gerund is troublesome. It looks as if the difference is to do with parts of speech or something similar. In fact, the real distinction has to do with the grammatical relations (syntactic functions). In traditional grammar, a gerund is an -ing form of a verb that heads a phrase functioning as a: Subject of a clause ...


6

I never used the terms "gerund" and "participle" when I was learning syntax, nor when I was teaching it, so I think we could easily do without those terms. However, on the other hand, I don't see a problem with the terminology, provided that one is careful. For the English forms derived from verbs by adding "-ing", there are: A. nouns. These take ...


6

You have to keep in mind that <l> and <ll> are both extremely common in English, regardless of region. For example, bill is always spelled <bill>, and nil is always spelled <nil>; excel is always spelled <excel>, and retell is always spelled <retell>. There are a lot of individual rules, but there's no single over-arching ...


6

How about "splashing is forbidden?" Splashing seems to function as either a noun or a verb. It could be modified by an adverb to fit the verb test: Loudly splashing is forbidden. Or it could be modified with an adjective to fit the noun test: That loud splashing is forbidden. A psycholinguistic perspective Ultimately, to address the meat of the ...


6

ᴛʟ;ᴅʀ Is it ever possible for a sentence to have a word in it that is simultaneously more than one single part of speech in that sentence, under the same parse and meaning? So, if a grammatical English sentence contains a word A, can A be more than one POS? Parts of speech are grammatical terms and have varying meanings for different grammarians. ...


6

So we took our time getting back, [him telling me how glad he was that he'd been able to give the woman what she deserved]. The verb "telling" is non-finite so it's a subordinate clause, here functioning as an adjunct. Since it has a subject, "him", it is, more specifically, an 'absolute' construction, one that has no syntactic link to ...


5

After some research I came across this remarkable academic document "On the progression of the progressive in early Modern English - icame": Please, read especially page 7, I think this is the actual puzzle piece we're looking for! Here some excerpts: "... There seems to be pretty general agreement that at least as far as form is concerned it derives most ...


5

English has no such rule regarding gerunds. I'd be interested to know what language does.


5

Yes, the sentence is grammatical, if somewhat awkward. Out of context, you need both instances of my to make it clear that it is you who is doing the paying off and that the debts are yours. The words my paying constitute a gerund (paying) modified by a possessive (my). Less formal English would accept the pronoun me here: It's slowing me paying my debts ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible