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      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
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    #1

    Confusion in the following

    I was told the following

    1) We went to swim is wrong because The verb swim represents an act, an action, and not a state, so a gerund, an -ing noun, is used. Therefore :

    We went to swimming is right.

    2) But my confusion is why :

    I dont want to drink is right. drink is an action not state

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
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    #2

    Re: Confusion in the following

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan
    1) We went to swim is wrong because The verb swim represents an act, an action, and not a state, so a gerund, an -ing noun, is used.
    Rajan, it has nothing to do with "act" and "state".

    Infinitives, like "to swim", express an unactualized event. The event hasn't yet happened or the speaker hasn't yet experienced the event. The event is unknown. On the other hand, "-ing" express an actualized event. The event happened or the speaker experienced the event. S/he he knowledge of the event.

    EX: We went swimming.
    (the event "swimming" happened)

    EX: We want to swim.
    (the event "swim" hasn't happened yet)

    EX: We want to go swimming.
    (the event "go swimming" hasn't happened yet. Note, "swimming" is the object of the verb "go". That's why it takes -ing in that context.)

    EX: I dont want to drink.
    (the event "drink" did not happen)

    EX: I don't want to drink anymore.
    (the event "drink (more)" does not happen)

    All the best.

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