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  1. #1
    mertevenk is offline Newbie
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    Default Gerund or infinitive?

    I saw you kiss him or I saw you kissing him?

    I can't see me marrying you or I can't see me marry you?

    Which is true? And what's the rule?
    Thank you in advance...

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Hello Mert, welcome to Using English!

    1. I saw you kiss him.
    2. I saw you kissing him.

    #1 presents the action as a whole; #2 presents the action as if it were in progress. So both are correct; there is simply a difference in focus.

    3. I can't see you marrying me.
    4. I can't see you marry me.

    Here, only #3 is idiomatic; "see" means "imagine", and with that meaning, "see" takes an ing-form.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #3
    mertevenk is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Thank you so much, that was quite illuminating.

  4. #4
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by mertevenk View Post
    I saw you kiss him or I saw you kissing him?

    I can't see me marrying you or I can't see me marry you?

    Which is true? And what's the rule?
    Thank you in advance...
    See is one of the verbs which take present participle not gerund. The present participle as Mr Pedantic said is a question of focus. For example catch can suggest you surprised sb: I caught him stealing. Maybe nowadays grammarians talk of -ing forms and not gerund or present participle.

  5. #5
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    A learner

    Here are a few examples in which the verbs in brackets should be put into correct forms. (infinitive, bare infinitive, present participle or gerund)

    1) No I didn't steel the snake. I would be afraid of (touch) it.
    2) The hunters expected (be paid) by the foot for the snakes they caught.
    3) This meant (take) the snakes out of the sack and (measure) them.
    4) They seemed (expect) me (do) it, but I wasn't particularly anxious (be) the first (die) of snakebit.
    5) I rather not (see) any of them.
    6) Have you ever been in situation (touch) a snake.

    I would like to see the answers.

    1)
    2)
    and so on
    Last edited by e2e4; 23-Jul-2008 at 17:45.

  6. #6
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    1) No I didn't steel the snake. I would be afraid of (touching/to touch) it.
    2) The hunters expected (to be paid) by the foot for the snakes they caught.
    3) This meant (taking) the snakes out of the sack and (measuring) them.
    4) They seemed (to expect) me (to do) it, but I wasn't particularly anxious (to be) the first (to die) of a snakebit.
    5) I'd rather not (see) any of them.

  7. #7
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    1) No I didn't steel the snake. I would be afraid of (touching/to touch) it.
    2) The hunters expected (to be paid) by the foot for the snakes they caught.
    3) This meant (taking) the snakes out of the sack and (measuring) them.
    4) They seemed (to expect) me (to do) it, but I wasn't particularly anxious (to be) the first (to die) of a snakebit.
    5) I'd rather not (see) any of them.
    Hi, Soup!
    I agree with you!
    However...

    'afraid of to touch'

    Ah...you mean...'be afraid to touch'?
    Oh, yes, you do!

  8. #8
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hi, Soup!
    I agree with you!
    However...

    'afraid of to touch'

    Ah...you mean...'be afraid to touch'?
    Oh, yes, you do!
    Since you like it I am giving you one more example which is addressed to your name only and can not be taken out this time.

    After (spend) a month in the cottage, I realized that I didn't really (enjoy) (live) in the countryside and began (think) of an excuse for (sell) the cottage and return to the city in which I was born and (live).

  9. #9
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    Since you like it I am giving you one more example which is addressed to your name only and can not be taken out this time.

    After (spend) a month in the cottage, I realized that I didn't really (enjoy) (live) in the countryside and began (think) of an excuse for (sell) the cottage and return to the city in which I was born and (live).

    After (spending) a month in the cottage, I realized that I didn't really (enjoy) (living) in the countryside and began (to think/thinking) of an excuse for (selling) the cottage and returning? to the city in which I was born and (live).

    I'm not sure about how I should change 'live'.

  10. #10
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Gerund or infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    After (spending) a month in the cottage, I realized that I didn't really (enjoy) (living) in the countryside and began (to think) of an excuse for (selling) the cottage and (returning) to the city in which I was born and (live).

    I'm not sure about how I should change 'live'.
    in which I had been born and lived

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