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  1. #1
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    A present participle or a gerund?

    Hi!

    There is a sentence from a newspaper article:

    I donít think itís a case of us having to warn them.

    And my question is:

    Is the "having", in this sentence, a present participle or a gerund?

    I think that it is a present participle, but I'm not quite sure.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: A present participle or a gerund?

    That's a good question. There is an alternate way of saying that, which I think is now more old fashion. "...of our having to..." in which case it would clearly be a gerund. I would tend to say it is still a gerund. I have read about this in House and Harman, but I can't remember at the moment. I think the discussion was about why "us" is in the objective case when it is the subject of the gerund.
    I'll look into it.
    Frank

  3. #3
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Re: A present participle or a gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by omasta View Post
    Hi!

    There is a sentence from a newspaper article:

    I don’t think it’s a case of us having to warn them.

    And my question is:

    Is the "having", in this sentence, a present participle or a gerund?

    I think that it is a present participle, but I'm not quite sure.

    Thank you.
    us having to warn them = non-finite -ing clause acting as a prepositional complement. Gerund. (I am pretty sure.)

    Quote Originally Posted by omasta View Post

    Is the "having", in this sentence, a present participle or a gerund?
    Present participle is related to morphology; it is a verb form. On the other hand, a gerund is not a form, although a gerund's form is typical and specific. Gerund is a grammatical term that denotes function -- (an -ing form) that functions as a noun. You are comparing an apple with an orange. All gerunds have present participle form.



    In 'us/our having to warn them', 'us/our' looks like a determiner that premodifies the gerund clause.

    A case of what? A case of having to warn them. It is a case of our/us... .
    Last edited by Kondorosi; 07-Jan-2010 at 06:02.

  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: A present participle or a gerund?

    By "case" I mean subjective, possessive (genitive), dative, objective (accusative), vocative, etc. that effect the endings of nouns and adjectives in many languages, but in English mostly the pronouns.

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