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  1. #1
    gchman is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation seen to vs seen Ving

    Hello there.


    I was seen to enter the building.
    I was seen entering the building.

    Is there any difference?
    Some advised me to use "entering", but I do not know the difference.

  2. #2
    xpert's Avatar
    xpert is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    I was seen to enter the building.
    I was seen entering the building.

    Other examples:
    The sun was seen rising in the horizon.
    The boys were seen cleaning the room.
    She was seen writing a complaint against the restaurants.

    One more thing:
    In English, the expression be seen to be doing something means to make sure that other people notice you working hard or doing something good

    Example: The government must be seen to be doing something about the rise in violent crime.

  3. #3
    Offroad's Avatar
    Offroad is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    Very nice question, precise answer.

  4. #4
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    I was seen to enter the building.
    I was seen entering the building.

    Other examples:
    The sun was seen rising in the horizon.
    The boys were seen cleaning the room.
    She was seen writing a complaint against the restaurants.

    One more thing:
    In English, the expression be seen to be doing something means to make sure that other people notice you working hard or doing something good

    Example: The government must be seen to be doing something about the rise in violent crime.
    I agree, you can only use 'ing' form with a passive construction, but in active sentense, both are used with a slightly change in meaning.
    If we want to say that we saw the whole action from beginning to end, we usually use bare infinitive
    I saw him work in the field.

    If we want to say that only we saw part of the action, use -ing form
    I saw the consultant waiting in reception.
    (I saw the consultant. He was waiting in reception.)

  5. #5
    gchman is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.


    I was seen to enter the building.
    I was seen entering the building.

    Is there any difference?
    Some advised me to use "entering", but I do not know the difference.
    "I was seen to enter the building."
    This one is grammatically wrong?

  6. #6
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    "I was seen to enter the building."
    This one is grammatically wrong?
    It is grammatical but not good English.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: seen to vs seen Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    It is grammatical but not good English.
    In what sense? It can be used to make a distinction of meaning. Perhaps Strunk and White doesn't like it. In Br. English all these are fine:

    'He was seen to enter the building'
    'He was seen to be entering the building'
    'He was seen to have entered the building'
    even
    'He was seen to have been entering the building' (though I'm not sure when one would want to use it)

    b

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