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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default ing-Form or Infinitive after "begin"

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to help me to understand the properly usage of ing-Form or Infinitive after the verb “begin”?

    After supper Sir Pit Crawley began to smoke his pipe, and producing a huge mass of papers began reading them and putting them in order.

    His firt move was to begin to talk about the marriage question at the dinner table.

    He began speaking with confidence.

    They, too, began to hop, to dance, to limp and to curse.

    She let her hair fall….and began brushing.

    She was already beginning to droop like a flower that wants water.

    One morning the telegraph key began clicking.

    And while she waited for him to come, her pride began revolting.

    His thoughts began flighting round the top of his head.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 03-Dec-2009 at 20:32.

  2. #2
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ing-Form or Infinitive after "begin"

    I cannot put my fingers ony the slight difference grammarians say there is meaningwise between the two forms. I do not differentiate between them and, loo and behold, I am still alive.

  3. #3
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ing-Form or Infinitive after "begin"

    There is usually no significant difference between the two: 'begin -ing' tends to be the more common/natural choice for most speakers in most situations, doubtless simply on account of its brevity.

    However, in situations where the speaker wishes to emphasize that the action only started but was in some sense not continued or concluded, then (s)he will generally choose the infinitive construction, e.g.

    He began to speak but was cut short by a sudden noise from outside.

    The same applies to 'start'.
    Last edited by philo2009; 09-Dec-2009 at 04:34.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: ing-Form or Infinitive after "begin"

    Hi philo2009,

    Thank you for your knowledgeable answer.

    I see what you mean.

    I must to write “Barney Morgan started to say something but caught himself.” and no “Barney Morgan started saying something but caught himself”.

    Regards,

    V.

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ing-Form or Infinitive after "begin"

    Yes, that would be more natural.

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