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Thread: Confused

  1. #1
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    Confused

    Hi, folks!

    I`m wondering if the following sentence is right:

    Younger children join in street gangs because of getting not as much attention as they need.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Confused

    I often see Germans use this construction, and I'm not sure why. A native speaker would understand it perfectly, but it isn't natural.

    We have the construction "because of" + noun; for example:

    We couldn't have a picnic because of the rain.
    She was sick because of the foul taste of the soup.
    Captain Spliff was scared because of the huge size of the Zog Monster.

    But we don't usually use this construction with a gerund:

    * She was sick because of eating foul soup. (Wrong)
    -> She was sich because she ate some foul soup. (Correct)

    However, we do sometimes use "because of" + noun + gerund, like this:

    He couldn't concentrate because Pete was playing the drums.
    He couldn't concentrate because of Pete playing the drums.

    When we replace the noun with a pronoun, we use a possessive:

    He couldn't concentrate because of his playing the drums.

    This construction is most natural when the subject of the subordinate clause is not the same as the subject of the main clause.

    You can nearly always replace "because of" + noun/possessive + gerund with "because" + subordinate clause, so a good rule of thumb is:

    "because of" + noun ("because of the rain")
    "because" + subordinate clause ("because it rained")

    I would rewrite your sentence like this:

    Younger children join in street gangs because they do not get as much attention as they need.

  3. #3
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    Re: Confused

    Thank you!!!!

  4. #4
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    I often see Germans use this construction, and I'm not sure why. A native speaker would understand it perfectly, but it isn't natural.


    But we don't usually use this construction with a gerund:

    * She was sick because of eating foul soup. (Wrong)
    -> She was sich because she ate some foul soup. (Correct)

    However, we do sometimes use "because of" + noun + gerund, like this:

    He couldn't concentrate because Pete was playing the drums.
    He couldn't concentrate because of Pete playing the drums.

    When we replace the noun with a pronoun, we use a possessive:

    He couldn't concentrate because of his playing the drums.

    This construction is most natural when the subject of the subordinate clause is not the same as the subject of the main clause.

    You can nearly always replace "because of" + noun/possessive + gerund with "because" + subordinate clause, so a good rule of thumb is:
    Since gerund is a verbal noun it is followed by prepositions like nouns. Gerund with a possessive pronoun is very formal and the possessive pronoun is dropped in spoken communication:
    I don't remember my mother (my mother's) complaining about it. Sometimes object pronouns like: me, him replace the possessive ones:
    He disliked my/me working late.

    My question is: how do you explain that grund immediately after because of is not possible. Because of is a two-word prerposition or possibly because of itself implies possession which is not implied in expressions like: He is accused of stealing. Strictly speaking because of eating can't be wrong.

    You are right this is a typical German mistake which has to do with language interference.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 17-Dec-2006 at 19:03.

  5. #5
    Morpheus is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    -> She was sick because she ate some foul soup. (Correct)
    Why didn't you use Past Perfect there?

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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    My question is: how do you explain that grund immediately after because of is not possible. Because of is a two-word prerposition or possibly because of itself implies possession which is not implied in expressions like: He is accused of stealing. Strictly speaking because of eating can't be wrong.
    It ought to be possible, but it's just not a feature of standard English. I don't know why; sometimes it's hard to formulate rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    Why didn't you use Past Perfect there?
    I could have done, certainly. But using the past simple implies that almost no time passed between her eating the soup and her being sick. The past perfect would imply she was not immediately sick, although the soup was still the cause of her sickness.

  7. #7
    Morpheus is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    I could have done, certainly. But using the past simple implies that almost no time passed between her eating the soup and her being sick. The past perfect would imply she was not immediately sick, although the soup was still the cause of her sickness.
    Ok, thanks for the explanation, rewboss! :)

  8. #8
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    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    Since gerund is a verbal noun it is followed by prepositions like nouns. Gerund with a possessive pronoun is very formal and the possessive pronoun is dropped in spoken communication:
    I don't remember my mother (my mother's) complaining about it. Sometimes object pronouns like: me, him replace the possessive ones:
    He disliked my/me working late.

    My question is: how do you explain that grund immediately after because of is not possible. Because of is a two-word prerposition or possibly because of itself implies possession which is not implied in expressions like: He is accused of stealing. Strictly speaking because of eating can't be wrong.

    You are right this is a typical German mistake which has to do with language interference.
    A couple of corrections here:

    Since gerund is a verbal noun it is followed by prepositions like nouns. Gerund with a possessive pronoun is very formal and the possessive pronoun is dropped in spoken communication:

    In both instances, "gerund" should be pluralized or preceded by an article.
    I also think you meant "gerunds follow prepositions as nouns do".
    Your second statement is a bit a strong. It needs an "often" or "sometimes" before "dropped".

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    js_rich is offline Newbie
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    Re: Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    A couple of corrections here:

    Since gerund is a verbal noun it is followed by prepositions like nouns. Gerund with a possessive pronoun is very formal and the possessive pronoun is dropped in spoken communication:

    In both instances, "gerund" should be pluralized or preceded by an article.
    I also think you meant "gerunds follow prepositions as nouns do".
    Your second statement is a bit a strong. It needs an "often" or "sometimes" before "dropped".
    Hello, Mike
    I'm just wondering if there is a grammar book or something which has all the things you are mentioning. For example, how do you know it is wrong to use gerund phrase after "because of". Was it possible for you guys to know whether the usage was wrong or not , because you guys are native speakers ( I mean "experience"),or because you have learned from school? There should be books about it.
    Looking forward to hearing your opinion.
    Thanks
    Last edited by js_rich; 18-Dec-2006 at 17:19.

  10. #10
    dihen is offline Member
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    Re: Confused

    So it's unnatural but not ungrammatical?
    Last edited by dihen; 18-Dec-2006 at 13:40.

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