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  1. #1
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    Default Grammatical function of -

    Hello,

    Could I ask you how you would analyse "trying to persuade me" in the sentence :

    "There is no need to go on trying to persuade me"

    Whereas Quirk & al give very clear examples of -ING clauses as direct objects after phrasal verbs, it would seem that this is not the right analysis here -

    I am a bit puzzled. Would you analyse it as some sort of adverbial ?

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Grammatical function of -

    Hello SW

    I would take "trying" as a gerund, and the whole verb-phrase "trying to persuade me" as the object of the phrasal verb "go on".

    We might therefore say:

    "What do you intend to go on doing?"
    "Trying to persuade you."

    However, I would be interested to read other analyses.

    MrP

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    Default Re: Grammatical function of -

    Hello Mr Pedantic,

    Many tanks for your answer (sorry that I wasn't able to reply sooner - I had problems logging on to the site).

    Your answer is very interesting - the more so as I hadn't thought of "What do you intend to go on doing?"

    The problem is, of course, that it might well be argued that "go on" is intransitive on the basis of such comparisons as :

    - "Take up your pen" ("your pen" = direct object) vs. *"go on the work" (wrong)

    Would "with the work" in "go on with the work" be analysed as an adverbial (not sure) or an indirect object?

    In "There's no need to go on like that", I suppose there is no ambiguity : the prepositional phrase "with the work" is an adverbial.

    Could it be, then, that "trying to persuade me" is situated - somewhere along a continuum between direct objects and adverbials. This seems to me to make sense (not sure again). Funny that Quirk should say nothing about it.

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Grammatical function of -

    Hello Stephan

    It's an interesting thought. "Keep on" also takes an ING-form, but resists an ordinary direct object:

    1. I kept on talking.
    2. *I kept on persiflage.

    My reservation though is that "go on V-ing" has a slightly different meaning from "go on"; the latter doesn't seem to have quite the connotation of "persistence" that you find in the V-ing usage.

    With "go on with the work", I would take "go on with" as a phrasal verb, and "the work" as its object. (Cf. the common phrase "here's something to be going on with": to my ears, the "with" seems to group with "go on".)

    But I'm probably missing something obvious here; so I'd be very interested in views to the contrary!

    MrP

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