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  1. #1
    M56 Guest

    Default Possessive before a gerund question.

    In which sentence would you say that the teacher dislikes the child?



    The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate.



    The teacher dislikes the child’s whispering to his classmate.

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    At a guess, "The teacher dislikes the child’s whispering to his classmate."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    I don't think the first one is grammatically correct. You like the way in which someone does something or the fact aht someone does something. You do dislike someone's doing something (This is analogous to 'Would you mind my opening the window?')

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    I'd say the first fits the bill:
    The teacher dislikes the child (who is) whispering to his classmate.

  5. #5
    Dandelion is offline Member
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    In which sentence would you say that the teacher dislikes the child?

    The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate.
    The teacher dislikes the child’s whispering to his classmate.
    I'm with tdol. It's definitely the first sentence that gives the idea that the teacher dislikes the child. This is an example of reducing an adjective clause to an adjective phrase.

    The teacher dislikes the child who is whispering to his classmate.
    The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate.

    Which child does the teacher dislike? The one who is whispering to his classmate.

  6. #6
    Dandelion is offline Member
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    In which sentence would you say that the teacher dislikes the child?
    The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate.
    The teacher dislikes the child’s whispering to his classmate.
    The first sentence means that the teacher dislikes the child.
    The second sentence means that the teacher doesn't like the child to whisper to his classmate.

    The first sentence is an example of an adjective clause reduction.
    The second sentence is an example of using a possessive to modify a gerund. They are both grammatically correct, but they convey a different meaning.


  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    The first could also be modifying a gerund, as many people don't follow the rule of using a possessive to do so, but the seond couldn't carry the disliking idea.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    In which sentence would you say that the teacher dislikes the child?
    The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate.
    The teacher dislikes the child’s whispering to his classmate.
    In that context, neither.

  9. #9
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd say the first fits the bill:
    The teacher dislikes the child (who is) whispering to his classmate.

    Me too. Reduced relative clause.

  10. #10
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Possessive before a gerund question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    In that context, neither.
    Reduced relative clause?

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