It was stated that in the sentence "I am water-skiing" that water-skiing is a noun. Really? I don't get it.
I would say that it is a present participle there.
Originally Posted by bobek
Sorry to confuse
Let me try to make it easier to digest.
1. I am water skiing next weekend.
In the above sentence, the main verb is 'am (going to go)' but I omitted 'going to go' so as to make a point. That point being, 'water skiing' looks like the continuous form of the verb 'to water ski' but it's not.
It's a noun that refers to an action. We know this because (a) we can add the verb 'going to go' before 'water skiing':
2. I am going to go water skiing.
Since we can separate 'am' from 'water skiing', we know that 'am water skiing' is not a true continuous verb form in 2. (Try separating continious verbs), (b) we can change the tense by add a non-present time adverb:
3. I am water skiing next weekend.
That is, the present continuous expresses an action in the here and now, whereas the adverb 'next weekend' expresses future time. If 'water skiing' were functioning as a present continuous verb, we wouldn't be able to add future time, 'next weekend', Present and Future being separate time frames. So, if 'water skiing' is not functioning as a verb in 3., what is its function?
It's called a gerund: a word that expresses an action and functions as a a thing (a noun: person, place or thing). For example:
Pat: Water skiing is fun.
Alex: What's fun?
Pat: Water skiing.
The question word 'What' replaces nouns, not verbs. So even though 'Water skiing' looks like part of a continous verb form, it's not. It functions as a non-verb, a thing. It's the thing that's fun. Same as
5. I am going to go water skiing next weekend.
It's the thing that I am going to do.
'am going' is the continuous verb form
'to go' is the infinitive form
'water skiing' is the object of the inifinite verb 'to go'
'water skiing' is a noun.
Does it help, some?
In that line of argument, it makes perfect sense, but I still think it doesn't have to be an ellipsis of the 'going to' form. It could also be the present progressive for the future, where it would be the present participle.
Regardless...thanx for takin' the time.
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Originally Posted by tdol
Right you are! It's a present participle no matter how you twist it.
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