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Thread: ashamed of

  1. #11
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    Default Re: ashamed of

    Yeap! You are absolutely right.

    8)

  2. #12
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    Default Re: ashamed of

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    Yeap! You are absolutely right.

    8)
    Erm..the credit is Red 5's :wink:

  3. #13
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    Default Re: ashamed of

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    We often talk about the difference in meaning between gerunds and infinitives in some constructions. This is a case, IMO, where the two verbals have different meanings. The infinitive form is often used to describe a potential action, while the gerund is often used to describe a concrete action.
    Well, that is definitely the case 'in some constructions':

    I like to walk. (potential)
    I like walking. (concrete)

    However, in the case of 'was ashamed of', we have a State of being 'ashamed': be + participle + 'of', with focus on the state of being:

    I was ashamed of speaking to him.

    As is, we do not know if the speaking event happened or didn't happen. Additional context would be required to determine that. :wink:
    I don't agree. When someone says "I was ashamed of (an action)" the shame arises from completing that action, not the potential of completing that action.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: ashamed of

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by navi
    I was ashamed of speaking to him.

    Did I speak to him or not?
    In my opinion, you did speak to him. The original version "I was ashamed to speak to him", is ambiguous and, as we stated before, we could add "too" to that to clear it up. "I was too ashamed to speak with him" would imply that you did not speak to him.

    This new version changes an infinitive "to speak" to a gerund "(of) speaking". We often talk about the difference in meaning between gerunds and infinitives in some constructions. This is a case, IMO, where the two verbals have different meanings. The infinitive form is often used to describe a potential action, while the gerund is often used to describe a concrete action. When one says "I was ashamed to speak to him", the potential conversation is making one uncomfortable, but one might have overcome the discomfort. When one says "I was ashamed of speaking to him", it is a real action that caused the shame. I would, therefore, conclude that you spoke to him and that made you ashamed.

    :wink:
    What about " I am ashamed of speaking to him?"

    In my opinion, I haven't started yet to speak to him, right?

    And If you put this sentence into past tense, then the result remains the same, only the time of event is changed.
    In my opinion, changing the verb to present tense just moves the shame to the present from the past. You spoke to him in the past and you are now (still) ashamed. IMO, you still spoke to him in the past. I see a difference in concreteness between "ashamed to speak" and "ashamed of speaking".

    It might be clearer if you change "of" to "about".

    I am/was ashamed about speaking to him.

  5. #15
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks Red5, Mike, Casiopea and Henry.
    Apparently it wasn't such a bad question!
    If one can replace "of" with "about", then I suppose one has to conclude that Mike is right.
    This is one of those funny situations. Since you are natvie speakers I am sure that you use this sentence in the same way when it comes to concrete situations. But when one asks you the question, then you have doubts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Thanks Red5, Mike, Casiopea and Henry.
    Apparently it wasn't such a bad question!
    If one can replace "of" with "about", then I suppose one has to conclude that Mike is right.
    This is one of those funny situations. Since you are natvie speakers I am sure that you use this sentence in the same way when it comes to concrete situations. But when one asks you the question, then you have doubts!
    You're welcome. It was a very good question. Even native speakers will disagree about some shades of meaning in English. We moderators come from three different countries and there are some differences in how we use the language. :wink:

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    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Well, that does make the whole thing interesting and sometimes frustrating.
    I always have to remind myself that sometimes there are no hard and fast rules.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Well, that does make the whole thing interesting and sometimes frustrating.
    I always have to remind myself that sometimes there are no hard and fast rules.
    At times, it is easier to agree on structure than on meaning. :wink:

  9. #19
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Good point. Very good point. An analysis of that would propbably throw some light on language-acquisition mecanisms.
    One says to oneself, "I have heard that before, but in what context? It is correct, but what does it mean?" Of-course this could happen only with sentences which are or might be ambiguous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Good point. Very good point. An analysis of that would propbably throw some light on language-acquisition mecanisms.
    One says to oneself, "I have heard that before, but in what context? It is correct, but what does it mean?" Of-course this could happen only with sentences which are or might be ambiguous.
    Very good analysis. :wink:

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