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Thread: Take and taking

  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Take and taking

    Hi guys,
    I've just been asked about the following question:

    I guess you are working hard these days and ______ less care of your eyes.

    a. Take
    b. Taking

    I suggested 'taking' as an answer, but some teachers disagree with me. They say 'take' is the right choice. It seems perfectly clear to me, the tenses should match (working + taking), right? I'm not a grammar god, so I can't give a very good grammatical explanation to them. :wink:

    Can you lot help?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd say both are possible. 'Taking' sounds more short-term than 'take'.

  3. #3
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Would you mind explaining it to me in a bit more detail, Tdol?

    As I said, I am a grammar idiot. ;)

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I guess you are working hard these days and ______ less care of your eyes

    If you use 'taking',then it is a present continuous denoting a temporary or unfinished action, and shares the auxiliary verb with 'working'. If you use 'take' then you are using the present simple for a habit and sharing the subject 'you'. The two forms can be mixed with a single subject:

    I'm living in London and find the transport a problem.

    I'd say that the use of the simple form suggests that this lack of care is of a longer duration than the continuous form.

  5. #5
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    That explanation is as sweet as a nut. Innit.

    Thanks for that. ;)

  6. #6
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Take and taking

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    Hi guys,
    I've just been asked about the following question:

    I guess you are working hard these days and ______ less care of your eyes.

    a. Take
    b. Taking

    I suggested 'taking' as an answer, but some teachers disagree with me. They say 'take' is the right choice. It seems perfectly clear to me, the tenses should match (working + taking), right? I'm not a grammar god, so I can't give a very good grammatical explanation to them. :wink:

    Can you lot help?

    Cheers!
    I agree with you here. Switching to the simple present disturbs the parallelism here. The speaker is stating a guess. That guess starts out with a present continuous action. If he is connecting the first part with the second, it seems that both events are connected to the same time period. If they are not connected, then the phraseology needs to be changed.

    TDOL's example doesn't sound as strange as the example you posted, but I would prefer "I live in London and find the...."

    I don't think one would say "I am going to school and ski in the winter."

    :wink:

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I have to say it sounds fine to me either way.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I have to say it sounds fine to me either way.
    :wink:

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