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  1. Eric Davis's Avatar

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    #1

    Is this a participle phrase?

    In the following sentence, is "working on the project" a participle phrase?


    I am busy working on the project.

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    #2

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Davis View Post
    In the following sentence, is "working on the project" a participle phrase?


    I am busy working on the project.
    I don't know the grammarians' answer to your question. In my opinion, it can be either a participle or a gerund phrase. Maybe this could be a clue (it's a clue to me): does 'busy' go with nouns? I think it does not. So maybe it doesn't go with gerunds (which are noun-like) either? But:
    1) it is not a satisfying reasoning,
    2) it is grammar, not maths so any reasoning can be wrong.

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    #3

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I don't know the grammarians' answer to your question. In my opinion, it can be either a participle or a gerund phrase. Maybe this could be a clue (it's a clue to me): does 'busy' go with nouns? I think it does not. So maybe it doesn't go with gerunds (which are noun-like) either? But:
    1) it is not a satisfying reasoning,
    2) it is grammar, not maths so any reasoning can be wrong.
    It's a present continuous sentence.
    "Busy" does "go with nouns", "a busy city", "a busy road" etc. where "busy" is an adjective describing "road" and "city" respectively.

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    #4

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Davis View Post
    In the following sentence, is "working on the project" a participle phrase?


    I am busy working on the project.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Good morning, Mr. Davis.

    (1)There are many ways to analize your sentence.

    (2) Every analysis deserves our respect.

    (3) This is how I analyze it.
    (a) I may be wrong. But a fellow has to settle on something. Otherwise, he will go stark raving mad.

    (4) According to everything that I have been able to find in books and on the Web, "working on the project" is a gerund phrase.

    (5) It is the object of an unstated preposition.

    (6) It seems that ages ago, the people in England used "a-" as a preposition. A gerund then followed. Here are two examples from a scholarly paper I stumbled across on the Web:

    (a) The bees are busy a-hoarding honey. Today: The bees are busy (in) hoarding honey.

    (b)Nannie has been busy a-ironing this evening. Today: Nannie has been busy (at) ironing this evening.

    (7) If ( a big "if") you accept this theory, then your sentence = I am busy (deleted a- preposition) working on the project.

    (8) All you can do is to study all the answers in this thread, read some books, and search the Web. Then you will have to make up your own mind -- as did I.

    Thanks so much for making me exercise my brain this morning.

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    #5

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It's a present continuous sentence.
    "Busy" does "go with nouns", "a busy city", "a busy road" etc. where "busy" is an adjective describing "road" and "city" respectively.
    I don't think it's a present continuous sentence. I mean it perhaps can be be thought of this way, but I certainly don't find it present contiuous. I am not native, but I'm quite sure there are natives who would agree.

    By 'going with nouns', I meant something else. But the problem with explaining it is that you say it's present continuous which to me is counter-intuitive. I'll try though.

    I understand this sentence as this:
    a) (I am busy) (working on the project). - participle phrase
    OR this:
    b) (I am) (busy working on the project). - gerund phrase(?)

    I am not sure what your point is, but I think you want something that I can't express with paretheses, that is:
    c) (I am working on the project) with intruded (busy).

    The second is what I meant by 'going with nouns'. I generally doesn't (in this sense). You won't say "I am busy my work." This is what I said could be a clue that this is not a gerund phrase. But gerunds are not nouns and don't have to be treated like them (perhaps).

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    #6

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Davis View Post
    In the following sentence, is "working on the project" a participle phrase?
    I think it is. "busy" and "working on the project" both modify "I".

    I am busy working on the project.
    With "busy", it's not continuous tense. And without adding a preposition, it's not a gerund. Also, the sentence doesn't need a preposition.

    If we change the word order, it makes the participle phrase clearer.
    And changing the word order would be a lesser sin than adding a word would be.

    Working on the project, I am busy.

    That's my opinion.

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    #7

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Good morning, Mr. Davis.

    (1)There are many ways to analize your sentence.

    (2) Every analysis deserves our respect.

    (3) This is how I analyze it.
    (a) I may be wrong. But a fellow has to settle on something. Otherwise, he will go stark raving mad.

    (4) According to everything that I have been able to find in books and on the Web, "working on the project" is a gerund phrase.

    (5) It is the object of an unstated preposition.

    (6) It seems that ages ago, the people in England used "a-" as a preposition. A gerund then followed. Here are two examples from a scholarly paper I stumbled across on the Web:

    (a) The bees are busy a-hoarding honey. Today: The bees are busy (in) hoarding honey.

    (b)Nannie has been busy a-ironing this evening. Today: Nannie has been busy (at) ironing this evening.

    (7) If ( a big "if") you accept this theory, then your sentence = I am busy (deleted a- preposition) working on the project.

    (8) All you can do is to study all the answers in this thread, read some books, and search the Web. Then you will have to make up your own mind -- as did I.

    Thanks so much for making me exercise my brain this morning.
    Your argument is what makes me even more uncertain. I was leaning towards the participle option, but now, I see that it is (as I expected) more complicated.
    In fact, they say "I'm at fishing", etc. in Scotland (AFAIK). That's something someone with ken should explain I suppose

  3. Eric Davis's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    I give my appreciation to all for your contributions.

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    #9

    Re: Is this a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Davis View Post
    In the following sentence, is "working on the project" a participle phrase?


    I am busy working on the project.
    The part in bold is a participle clause and a sentence adverbial, a reason clause. The sentence is in simple present tense (am).

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