Results 1 to 7 of 7

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    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

  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 1,952
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    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 11:52.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    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?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    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?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    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.

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 1,952
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    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.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Participial Construction??
    By gorikaz in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18-May-2008, 12:37
  2. Article for construction
    By musicgold in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2008, 18:35
  3. exemplary construction technique principles
    By rakehell in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2007, 08:33
  4. elliptical construction and auxiliary verb
    By Unregistered1 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Sep-2005, 02:43
  5. construction of the task?
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20-Apr-2005, 06:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •