Student or Learner
1. The book is easy reading.
Is the above sentence correct ? If so, does the present participle, reading, modify the adjective, easy, and function as an Adverb ?
2. It is easy reading the book.
Since the present participle cannot be used as a noun, so the underlined above, reading the book, is not present participle but Gerund. Would you mind telling me what function it is playing in the sentence above ? Complement for subject "it" or Adverb modifying adjective "easy" ?
I am much obliged to you for your guidance.
Last edited by kl004535; 06-Mar-2010 at 06:24.
It is + Adj + (verb in -ing) + Object
It is nice talking to you.
We use the above verb pattern when we would like to emphasize the Adj, just as:
"Talking to you is nice." can be converted to "It is nice talking to you."
when you want to emphasize "nice" in the above sentence.
So does the sentence "It is easy reading the book."
Correct me if I am wrong, please.
Last edited by kl004535; 06-Mar-2010 at 07:41.
(1) My favorite grammar book has a similar sentence: The book is worth reading.
(a) The book says "reading" is a gerund.
(b) Gerunds are nouns.
(c) nouns can be used as adverbs. (the term is "adverbial objective")
(d) "reading" modifies the adjective "easy" in your sentence.
(2) "It is easy reading the book" seems to be "good" English.
(a) It is easy.
(b) What is easy?
(c) Reading the book.
(d) In other words: It (reading the book) is easy.
(3) I cannot explain it well, but I sense a difference between "The book is easy reading" and "It is easy reading this book."
(a) The first sentence seems, only in my opinion, that the book is written in a way that makes it easy for a reader (that is, no "big" words, no complex ideas, etc.). The second sentence seems to emphasize something else. Seems to emphasize more the attitude of the reader than the contents of the book.
But all this doesn't mean that the '-ing' form can't behave like an adverb.
I fell asleep reading. = I fell asleep while reading.
I'm not a teacher.
'I fell asleep while I was reading.'
2...The reason I said "It is easy reading the book." is not a good sentence is that it does not express the meaning as clearly as "The book is easy reading.", "The book is easy to read.", or "It is easy to read the book."
Also, in some contexts that sentence can mean 'It's easy to do X while reading the book on how to do X.'
It's easy (to do while) reading the book.
"I fell asleep having read the book." has a different meaning.
But back to the ones with the original meaning, the word "reading" will have different functions in the different sentences. And the question is whether the word "reading" functions as an adverb in any of those sentences.
In Raymott's last post, I can acccept that some of the phrases containing "reading" are adverbial phrases. But I have a hard time seeing the word "reading" by itself be an adverb. I haven't found any references to "reading" being an adverb.
I am trying to ask 'my' grammar expert about this, but he may be retired now. Hopefully he will answer.