11 votes

In "Lucifer Rising" - grammatical explanation for use of -ing form instead of "Rises"?

Titles of films are often phrases rather than complete sentences. In this case, "Lucifer Rising" is an example. Grammatically, this is a noun phrase, composed of a noun “Lucifer,” and an -...
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  • 73.3k
11 votes

Is "running" a gerund or a participial adjective?

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 ...
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  • 127k
10 votes

When is it acceptable to start a sentence with an "-ing" word?

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 ...
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  • 42.6k
10 votes

Is "running" a gerund or a participial adjective?

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 ...
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  • 9,719
8 votes

"Sending off a balloon": verb or noun?

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 ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to use two present participles sequentially?

"We are currently in the process of finishing planning for the outage." There can be grammatical constraints on some types of double "-ing" phrases. I'll mention some of them here,...
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  • 6,086
6 votes

progressive forms: participle or gerund?

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 ...
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  • 304
6 votes
Accepted

Difference between gerund and present participle

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 ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Not sure if this is correct or not: "the ability to be able to"

"The ability to be able" is still a bit redundant, right? How about these examples? "Happiness is not the absence of problems, but rather" being able to deal with them. Or, "Happiness is not ...
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  • 6,739
6 votes
Accepted

Is "programming" not a noun?

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 ...
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  • 16.9k
6 votes

The Guy Next Door Shoveling Snow Or The Guy Shoveling Snow?

Next door is properly placed. It modifies the guy, so it's part of the subject NP. If you move next door it becomes a modifier on something else. I was thankful for the guy shoveling snow next door ...
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5 votes

When is it acceptable to start a sentence with an "-ing" word?

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

"Waiting list" vs. "wait list", "visiting card" vs. "visit card"

"I'll put you on the waiting list" - US & UK. Slightly commoner in UK than in US. "I'll put you on the wait list" - Almost exclusively US; much rarer than 'waiting list'. (Data source: Google ...
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5 votes

He spent $300 Ving

He spent $300 talking to a counsellor. Apart from "counsellor", it sounds like idiomatic American English to me. He spent $500 talking to a lawyer.
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  • 18.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Why did the present participle become more popular than a regular active verb?

John McWhorter writes that it "is almost certainly" due to the influence of Celtic languages spken alongside English (1): Given that Celtic languages were right there alongside English all the time,...
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5 votes
Accepted

Why is “bales” the 3rd person singular of “bail”?

TL;DR: Bales is NOT a conjugation of bail; rather, bale is an alternate spelling of some definitions of bail. This was an error introduced by Google's definition-amalgamator. The correct conjugation ...
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  • 22.4k
5 votes
Accepted

the first trial <stemming/to stem> from... vs. the first person to climb

To summarize the question: We can say the first trial stemming from as well as the first trial to stem from. So why can't we say the first person climbing Mount Everest as well as the first ...
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  • 31.2k
4 votes

Compelled and compeled - American English

You won't find compeled in the American Heritage Dictionary, Webster's New World College Dictionary, or ODO's US English corpus, either. The Corpus of Contemporary American English, which samples ...
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  • 42.6k
4 votes

In "Lucifer Rising" - grammatical explanation for use of -ing form instead of "Rises"?

That's an interesting question. You're right that this pattern is usually used for titles, but it does occur within sentences as well: I saw John running. There's a man snorkeling! Lucifer Rises ...
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  • 74.5k
4 votes

"What I'm doing is watching TV." — Why does it have to be the gerund-participle ('watching')?

I don't know the right way of analysing this, but it seems to me to have to do with grammatical aspect. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Huddleston and Pullum) interprets English as ...
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  • 73.3k
4 votes

Is "running" a gerund or a participial adjective?

There is much good discussion in the other answers. This is an historical note. In Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1964), Chomsky considered the phrase "the sleeping child", and argued that it is ...
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  • 16.9k
4 votes

"I remember watching Dallas," vs. "I remember us watching Dallas."

I don't know the technical term for it but I call these noun phrases. The entire phrase functions as a noun. Watching is not an adjective or adverb, it's always a verb. But it makes up part of a ...
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  • 214
4 votes

Gerund or Participle?

I agree with johnlee that "waiting" in this sentence should be classified as a participle, not a gerund, if you are working in a framework that makes that distinction. (Comments by members ...
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  • 73.3k
3 votes
Accepted

A question regarding a parallel

In "cooking and to read", you are conjoining a participle and an infinitive. That's why it does not work. In "taken and having", you are conjoining a participle and a participle. That's why it works ...
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  • 95.4k
3 votes

"It takes" + infinitive vs. present participle

The It in the sentence here is the dummy subject it inserted by Extraposition. That means the clause in question is a subject complement that's been displaced. Travelling to the US took me five hours....
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  • 99.5k
3 votes
Accepted

"The use of" vs. "using"

Edit: The short answer is that yes, they are interchangeable. As to preference, I don't really want to give my preference without having a reason for it. So, the main thing that's happening here is ...
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  • 976
3 votes

progressive forms: participle or gerund?

I was just about to ask this question and saw that you already asked it. I only have hypotheses. When I first read the terminology for the progressive/continuous aspect in English, it was be + gerund. ...
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  • 1,245
3 votes

In "Lucifer Rising" - grammatical explanation for use of -ing form instead of "Rises"?

I'd like to comment on the "poetic effect" sumelic mentions. Lucifer Rising or London Calling or Bad Moon Rising are all creating ambiguity as you try to parse the title and determine the meaning. Is ...
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