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Thread: picking

  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default picking

    I wonder if "picking" in the next sentence is "present progressive" or gerund.
    If "picking" is gerund, I would like to know the reason.


    What's the big idea, picking on a little girl like that?

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: picking

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I wonder if "picking" in the next sentence is "present progressive" or gerund.
    If "picking" is gerund, I would like to know the reason.


    What's the big idea, picking on a little girl like that?
    It's a present participle.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: picking

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I wonder if "picking" in the next sentence is "present progressive" or gerund.
    If "picking" is gerund, I would like to know the reason.


    What's the big idea, picking on a little girl like that?
    The distinction to be made is whether it's a present participle or a gerund.
    I'd call it a gerund, since "picking on a little girl like that" is in apposition to "idea" - they are both noun phrases.
    Picking ... is the big idea.
    The sentence is in the simple present tense.

  4. #4
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: picking

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I wonder if "picking" in the next sentence is "present progressive" or gerund.
    If "picking" is gerund, I would like to know the reason.


    What's the big idea, picking on a little girl like that?
    ***NOT A TEACHER***Perhaps some people might analyze your sentence as: What is the big idea (of your) picking on a little girl like that?" In that case, most people would probably construe "picking" as a gerund.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: picking

    Some people might analyse it as being "What's the big idea, (to be) picking on a little girl like that" using the continuous form of the phrasal verb "to pick on".

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