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  1. #1
    eddyizzy is offline Newbie
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    Default Are these participles, or what?

    In the sentence:

    "They saw a little man dancing and singing."

    how would you describe the words 'dancing' and 'singing' - are they present participles and/or are they part of a subordinate relative clause (ie "who was dancing and singing") but where the 'who was' is suppressed? I am confused and hope someone can help. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are these participles, or what?

    "SEE" works as a sensory verb (smell, taste, feel, look...) and the verb it takes as its object is either in the simple or base form (dance, sing) or the progressive form (dancing, singing). Usually, if you use the base form, it means you have, in this case, seen the entire action from beginning to end ( "I saw him sing on American Idol": I saw the entire song); if you use the progressive form, you saw part of the action ("I saw him singing on American Idol": I saw him for a minute when it was a commercial (for example)


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are these participles, or what?

    Hi,
    Yes, I'd say they are participles in a construction called Complex Object.

  4. #4
    eddyizzy is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Are these participles, or what?

    Thanks Fiona and Humble.

    So, how does a Complex Object construction work?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are these participles, or what?

    According to this pattern:
    I saw her standing there.
    He saw them cross the street and enter the house.
    I want you to love me.
    We expected the guests to arrive at noon.
    All these are not just objects, but complex objects.

    Regards

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