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  1. #1
    enydia is offline Member
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    Default What is this construction?

    Hi, Teachers.

    I saw this sentence in a dictionary:
    I take back what I said about you being selfish.

    I know what it means, but I'm confused of the construction "about you being selfish". Is it grammatically correct? If it is, how do you call it in grammar? Can you show me some explanation or search keywords?

    Thanks in advance.^_^

    Enydia

  2. #2
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    I saw this sentence in a dictionary:
    I take back what I said about you being selfish.

    I know what it means, but I'm confused of the construction "about you being selfish". Is it grammatically correct? If it is, how do you call it in grammar? Can you show me some explanation or search keywords?

    Thanks in advance.^_^

    Enydia
    Hi, enydia.

    I take back what I said about you being selfish.

    I think it's a "gerund" structure.

    "I take back what I said about your being selfish." is also OK, I think.

    I said to you, "You are selfish," but I was wrong. I take it back.
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 21-May-2008 at 10:52.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    I saw this sentence in a dictionary:
    I take back what I said about you being selfish.

    I know what it means, but I'm confused about the construction "about you being selfish". Is it grammatically correct? If it is, what do you call it in grammar? Can you show me some explanation or search keywords?

  4. #4
    enydia is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hi, enydia.

    I take back what I said about you being selfish.

    I think it's a "gerund" structure.

    "I take back what I said about your being selfish." is also OK, I think.

    I said to you, "You are selfish," but I was wrong. I take it back.
    Thank you, tzfujimino.

    I can understand "about your being selfish", but not "about you being selfish". In the former phrase, 'your being selfish' is the object of 'about'; but in the latter one, it seems there are two objects , 'you' and 'being selfish', of one preposition (about). It seems odd to me. Is this grammatically correct?

  5. #5
    enydia is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    Thank you, RonBee.

    I do need this kind of correction! I hate my mistakes, but it is really hard to root them out.

  6. #6
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Thank you, tzfujimino.

    I can understand "about your being selfish", but not "about you being selfish". In the former phrase, 'your being selfish' is the object of 'about'; but in the latter one, it seems there are two objects , 'you' and 'being selfish', of one preposition (about). It seems odd to me. Is this grammatically correct?
    Hi, again.

    I'll give you some information from a grammar book. (Practical English Usage - Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 1995) It says:

    In an informal style it is more common to use object forms instead of possessives with -ing forms, especially when these come after a verb or preposition.

    I don't mind you going without me. (instead of saying "...mind your going..."
    She was angry at Lina trying to lie to her. (instead of saying "...at Lina's trying..."


    I hope it will be a great help to you.

  7. #7
    enydia is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is this construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hi, again.

    I'll give you some information from a grammar book. (Practical English Usage - Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 1995) It says:

    In an informal style it is more common to use object forms instead of possessives with -ing forms, especially when these come after a verb or preposition.

    I don't mind you going without me. (instead of saying "...mind your going..."
    She was angry at Lina trying to lie to her. (instead of saying "...at Lina's trying..."


    I hope it will be a great help to you.
    Very helpful!

    Thank you very much.

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