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  1. #1
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default be(ing) torn down

    Dear teachers,


    Is it:
    - I watch my house being torn down.
    or
    - I watch my house be torn down.

    Or are both correct and is it simply a matter of style?

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Quote Originally Posted by Balkenende View Post
    Dear teachers,


    Is it:
    - I watch my house being torn down.
    or
    - I watch my house be torn down.

    Or are both correct and is it simply a matter of style?
    The first, but we'd use the progressive, unless you have developed a habit of watching your house being torn down. The second isn't right to my ears.
    "I am watching my house being torn down".

  3. #3
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Thank you, Raymott.

    So even if you are watching the tearing down at that very moment, you still can't say 'I watch'?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Quote Originally Posted by Balkenende View Post
    Thank you, Raymott.

    So even if you are watching the tearing down at that very moment, you still can't say 'I watch'?
    Especially if you are watching it right now, you'd use "I'm watching".
    Don't you see that if you can say, "You are watching it right now", I must be able to say "I am watching it right now"?

    The following is not proper English:
    A: What are you doing right now?
    B: I watch my house being torn down.

    The following is proper (ignoring the unlikely recurrent nature of your house being torn down)
    A: What do you do on your days off work? Simple present "You do"
    B: I watch my house being torn down. Simple present "I watch"

    The simple present is used for habitual actions (as well as other situations which you can look up).

  5. #5
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    I get what you're saying, but look at it in the context of a story.

    Say: "I left the factory, watched my house get torn down, and then visited my mother."

    You wouldn't mistake that for a regular occurence, right?

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Quote Originally Posted by Balkenende View Post
    I get what you're saying, but look at it in the context of a story.

    Say: "I left the factory, watched my house get torn down, and then visited my mother."

    You wouldn't mistake that for a regular occurence, right?
    No, that's a one off occurrence in the past.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Quote Originally Posted by Balkenende View Post
    I get what you're saying, but look at it in the context of a story.

    Say: "I left the factory, watched my house get torn down, and then visited my mother."

    You wouldn't mistake that for a regular occurence, right?
    Exactly as bhai says, the context has changed from present to past, so it's a different question altogether.
    A relevant question now would be:
    Is it:
    - I watched my house being torn down.
    or
    - I was watching my house being torn down.

    or maybe, if you were unsure
    - I have watched my house being torn down
    - I had watched my house being torn down

    I only answered the question you asked about the present tense. But since you've extended it, the same factors apply - who are you talking to; what's your intention in speaking, what's the context ?...etc.

  8. #8
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: be(ing) torn down

    Why is it always the 'little things' of a language that seem to be so mindboggling...

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