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Thread: wanting

  1. #1
    tomolonight is offline Junior Member
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    wanting

    1) He made several appearances, always wanting to see if I was still there.
    [ want or wanting? what is the difference? Give me more examples and explanation].

    Thanks

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: wanting

    Quote Originally Posted by tomolonight View Post
    1) He made several appearances, always wanting to see if I was still there.
    [ want or wanting? what is the difference? Give me more examples and explanation].

    Thanks
    ***** NOT A TEACHER ***** ONLY MY OPINION


    Tomolonight,


    I believe that always wanting to see if I was still there is a

    participial phrase.

    I think that many books tell us that it can go in many positions:

    Wanting to see if I was still there, he made several appearances.

    He made several appearances, wanting to see if I was still there.

    Maybe you could even write (but probably not say):

    He (wanting to see if I was still there) made several appearances.

    Because that participial phrase can fit into different locations, some

    books call it adverbial. That is, it refers not only to the subject

    ("He") but also to the verb ("made"). That is, it tells us why he made

    several appearances.

    By the way, one book reminds us that a sentence like yours can be

    changed to an adverbial clause.

    Wanting to see if I was still there, he made several appearances

    can be changed to:

    Because he wanted to see if I was still there, he made several

    appearances. / He made several appearances because he wanted ....

    I hope that I have given you accurate information. If I have, I wish to

    credit two books: Practice Exercises in Everyday English by Mr. Robert J.

    Dixson, and especially English Review Grammar by Mr. Walter Kay Smart.

    Hopefully, some teachers will answer so that you and I can better

    understand this interesting matter.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER ***** ONLY MY OPINION

  3. #3
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: wanting

    ----- Not an ESL teacher -----

    Quote Originally Posted by tomolonight View Post
    1) He made several appearances, always wanting to see if I was still there.
    [ want or wanting? what is the difference? Give me more examples and explanation].

    Thanks
    TheParser's answer is clear. Not only does it state that the correct word here is wanting instead of want but it also explains the reasons in depth grammatical terms.
    As usual, I learn a lot by reading TheParser's posts.

    But I would like to add a humble not-so-technical contribution:

    In your specific example, the reason one uses the correct wanting instead of want is that while he made several appearances he was in a state of being:

    When he made those several appearances, he was always in a special state, that of wanting to see if I was still there. (in that state, he was wanting to see ... )

    Whenever he appeared, he was wanting to see if I ...

    He appeared with a special desire: that of wanting to see if I ... (so he was wanting to see if I ... )

    Since in the paraphrases above one uses the progressive tense (be + wanting) to describe a state of being, the correct word is wanting instead of want (although there is no verb to be in your original example before wanting it is somehow implied).

  4. #4
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: wanting

    ----- Not an ESL teacher -----

    Quote Originally Posted by tomolonight View Post
    1) He made several appearances, always wanting to see if I was still there.
    [ want or wanting? what is the difference? Give me more examples and explanation].

    Thanks
    If you want a construction with want instead of wanting you may say it like:

    He made several appearances; in all of them he always wanted to see if I was still there.

    In all his appearances, he always wanted to see if I was still there.

    Naturally in those cases you have to used the inflected past form wanted.

  5. #5
    tomolonight is offline Junior Member
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    Re: wanting

    1) Is ' always wanting ' correct?
    2) Give me more examples of this strucutre.


    Thanks all!

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: wanting

    Quote Originally Posted by tomolonight View Post
    1) Is ' always wanting ' correct?
    2) Give me more examples of this strucutre.

    Thanks all!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER / ONLY MY OPINION


    Tomolonight,


    Would it be possible to know exactly what you are looking for?

    Do you just want sentences with the words "always wanting"?

    I googled and found many including:

    I found myself (always) wanting to be like those girls.

    A man with a history of always wanting more.

    "Always wanting you, but never having you." Some words in a song.
    Mr. Merle Haggard, the American singer.

    I am always wanting to improve myself.

    If you can tell us exactly what you are interested in regarding the use of

    "always wanting," then perhaps other posters can do a better job

    than I in answering you.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER ***** ONLY MY OPINION

    P.S. Are you confused about using -ing with the verb

    "want"? Yes, "want" is a verb that usually does not

    take -ing, but many times it does.

    P.P.S. I just thought of this sentence:


    "Always wanting to help other people, Dr. Smith spends three months

    of every year helping sick people in developing countries." As I

    noted in my first post, this is probably another way of saying:

    Because he wants to help other people, Dr. Smith ... countries.

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