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Thread: see

  1. Ana Laura
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    #1

    Cool see

    hello

    what is the difference in meaning between these 2 sentences:

    We saw him skate

    We saw him skating

    thanks


    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    #2

    Re: see

    Quote Originally Posted by Ana Laura View Post
    hello
    what is the difference in meaning between these 2 sentences:
    We saw him skate
    We saw him skating
    thanks

    An ing-form always stresses the activity. It doesn't chance the meaning of the sentence, it just ephasises the action. Although, it doesn't change the meaning, the use of the infinitive or the ing-form does have an impact on the receiver of your message.

    You use the infinitive when you want to share some regular information.

    You use the ing-form when you want the stress the activity of the person. eg: Why wasn't he in class the other day ? Then you can reply with "We saw him skating". In this case it far more the better option than using the infinitive. Most of the time the reason for using the ing-form is linked to something said/asked before.

    Kind regards

  2. Mariner's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: see

    Actually, I'd really be interested to hear more opinions on this one, but I believe (albeit, somewhat instinctively) that

    "We saw him skate" implies that the action was seen in its entirety (i.e. he finished skating)

    while

    "We saw him skating" implies that the action was not necessarily seen in its entirety

    EDIT:
    I saw your post Johan after I posted mine. Quite good explanation, I have to say

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: see

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    Actually, I'd really be interested to hear more opinions on this one, but I believe (albeit, somewhat instinctively) that

    "We saw him skate" implies that the action was seen in its entirety (i.e. he finished skating)

    while

    "We saw him skating" implies that the action was not necessarily seen in its entirety

    EDIT:
    I saw your post Johan after I posted mine. Quite good explanation, I have to say
    I agree with you, Mariner.

    I saw her sew a quilt = entire activity
    I saw her sewing a quilt = part of the activity

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