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    #1

    wear or wearing?

    Freddy had to go to London, ______ (wear, wearing) an expensive suit and give a performance to a TV camera.

    The given answer is 'wear'. But I think 'wearing' is the only word for the blank because 'wear' can't be put side by side with action verbs 'go' and 'give'. Am I right?

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Wearing


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    #3

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Freddy had to go to London, ______ (wear, wearing) an expensive suit and give a performance to a TV camera.

    The given answer is 'wear'. But I think 'wearing' is the only word for the blank because 'wear' can't be put side by side with action verbs 'go' and 'give'. Am I right?
    As usual, the writer of the question is trying to trick you. In the mind of the author, the question is whether Freddy had to do two things or three things. Did he (a) have to go to London wearing an expensive suit and (b) give a performance to a TV camera, or did he (a) have to go to London, (b) wear an expensive suit, and (c) give a performance to a TV camera?

    This is a can of worms, and I already know what the root of the problem is. It is an extremely common Chinese-English mistake to assume that to wear something is exactly the same as to put on something. It's not. The writer of the question, who is almost certainly Chinese, doesn't understand this.

    In such a situation, the verb wear means to have some item(s) of clothing on your body; the two-word verb put on means to put some item(s) of clothing on your body. Not the same.

    For example, my Taiwanese wife still tells me to "wear my shoes" when I step outside the door to leave. She means put them on. (Why she feels compelled to remind me of this still mystifies me, but it pleases me to interpret it as loving interest in my well-being rather than grave concern over my mental faculties.)

    It's hard to muster the will to analyze this mess any further because in my heart I know it's based on a classic Chinglish mistake. I just thought you should be aware of this fact.

    Greg

  1. anupumh's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    As usual, the writer of the question is trying to trick you. In the mind of the author, the question is whether Freddy had to do two things or three things. Did he (a) have to go to London wearing an expensive suit and (b) give a performance to a TV camera, or did he (a) have to go to London, (b) wear an expensive suit, and (c) give a performance to a TV camera?

    This is a can of worms, and I already know what the root of the problem is. It is an extremely common Chinese-English mistake to assume that to wear something is exactly the same as to put on something. It's not. The writer of the question, who is almost certainly Chinese, doesn't understand this.

    In such a situation, the verb wear means to have some item(s) of clothing on your body; the two-word verb put on means to put some item(s) of clothing on your body. Not the same.

    For example, my Taiwanese wife still tells me to "wear my shoes" when I step outside the door to leave. She means put them on. (Why she feels compelled to remind me of this still mystifies me, but it pleases me to interpret it as loving interest in my well-being rather than grave concern over my mental faculties.)

    It's hard to muster the will to analyze this mess any further because in my heart I know it's based on a classic Chinglish mistake. I just thought you should be aware of this fact.

    Greg
    Can you please elaborate on how "to wear something" and "to put on something" are different??


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    #5

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Can you please elaborate on how "to wear something" and "to put on something" are different??

    Sure. I'll do my best.

    To talk about one or more items of clothing you currently have on your body, use wear in the continuous aspect (be + v-ing):

    I am wearing a T-shirt.

    It's on my body as I speak. When you use wear in the simple present, for example, you mean you have one or more items of clothing on your body during certain time periods. It is not something that occurs at a point in time. For example:

    I wear T-shirts because they are comfortable.

    That is, it is my habit to have a T-shirt on my body at various times.

    Or maybe something like this:

    I wear a T-shirt every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I go jogging.

    It is my habit to have a T-shirt on my body during those times.

    In a nutshell: use be wearing to refer to what you have on now; use wear to refer to what you have on during certain time periods.

    * * * * * *

    On the other hand, put on refers to the action of placing one or more items of clothing on your body. It is an action that occurs at a point in time. For example:

    I put on a T-shirt before I went jogging.

    I put it on my body, and it only took about 3 or 4 seconds. Note that you can still refer to a habitual action:

    I always put on a T-shirt before I go jogging.

    And every single time it only takes me 3 or 4 seconds.

    After the action of putting on something (or putting something on), the condition of wearing it begins. That condition ends when you take it off.

    This is an extremely common misunderstanding in English, so I really hope this serves to clear things up a bit for those who happen to read this thread.

    Greg
    Last edited by dragn; 06-Oct-2009 at 02:51.

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    #6

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Thank you a lot, dragn. I've got it now. We should say:
    Freddy had to go to London, put on an expensive suit and give a performance to a TV camera.

    Am I right? Thank you again.

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    #7

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Hi joham

    In addition to Greg's wonderful post, what's being tested here is ellipsis (words in brackets have been omitted) and verb consistency:



    had to go to London,
    had to wear an expensive suit and
    had to give a live performance on TV.


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    #8

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Thank you a lot, dragn. I've got it now. We should say:
    Freddy had to go to London, put on an expensive suit and give a performance to a TV camera.

    Am I right? Thank you again.
    That would seem reasonably logical, yes.

    Oh, and one other small thing. I didn't mention it before because it was incidental to the point under discussion, but the phrase "to give a performance to a TV camera" is fairly awkward. How about "to appear/perform on TV." Other variations are possible, but the original phrase is something few people would say.

    Greg

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    #9

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi joham

    In addition to Greg's wonderful post, what's being tested here is ellipsis (words in brackets have been omitted) and verb consistency:

    had to go to London,
    had to wear an expensive suit and
    had to give a live performance on TV.
    Thank you, soup. Do you mean that the original sentence 'Freddy had to go to London, wear an expensive suit and give a performance on TV' (especially the 'wear') is correct?
    Hoping to get further help from you. Thank you again.

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    #10

    Re: wear or wearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Thank you, soup. Do you mean that the original sentence 'Freddy had to go to London, wear an expensive suit and give a performance on TV' (especially the 'wear') is correct?
    Yes. Freddy had to do three things: go, wear, and give.

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