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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Smile Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Dear Teachers,

    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.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by kl004535; 06-Mar-2010 at 07:24.

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    #2

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kl004535 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    1. The book is easy reading.

    Is the above sentence correct ? yes
    If so, does the present participle, reading, modify the adjective, easy, and function as an Adverb ? no
    "reading" is not a participle; it's a noun. "easy" modifies "reading".

    2. It is easy reading the book.

    It is easy to read the book.
    Reading the book is easy. "Reading" is a gerund.

    I am much obliged to you for your guidance.

    Thanks.
    2006

  2. Junior Member
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    #3

    Smile Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    2006
    However I have seen the following sentence structure many times.

    It is + Adj + (verb in -ing) + Object

    for example:
    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.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by kl004535; 06-Mar-2010 at 08:41.

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    #4

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kl004535 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    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.

    Thanks.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Good morning.

    (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.

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    #5

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    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.

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    #6

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    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.
    1...The "reading" in "I fell asleep (while) reading." is not an adverb.
    '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.

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    #7

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    1...The "reading" in "I fell asleep (while) reading." is not an adverb.
    'I fell asleep while I was reading.'
    'I fell asleep while I was reading.' is not the same sentence as 'I fell asleep reading.'
    We're talking about the latter, not the former. If it's not an adverb there, what is it? There has been a thread about it already.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    'I fell asleep while I was reading.' is not the same sentence as 'I fell asleep reading.'
    We're talking about the latter, not the former. If it's not an adverb there, what is it? There has been a thread about it already.
    I agree. I think it's an adverb(ial).
    He got wet watering the garden. (How did he get wet?)
    He injured himself trying a new motorbike trick.
    He died laughing.


    These are all adverbial phrases of manner.

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    #9

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I agree. I think it's an adverb(ial).
    He got wet watering the garden. (How did he get wet?)
    He injured himself trying a new motorbike trick.
    He died laughing.

    These are all adverbial phrases of manner.
    Besides this fundamental argument there is also another one.
    I fell asleep having read the book.
    It can't transformed to a 'while' sentence (at least in a natural way), which shows that these two ways of forming a sentence are not interchangeable.

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    #10

    Re: Present Participle as an Adverb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    Besides this fundamental argument there is also another one.
    I fell asleep having read the book.
    It can't transformed to a 'while' sentence (at least in a natural way), which shows that these two ways of forming a sentence are not interchangeable.
    Yes, there are many variations of the original sentence "I fell asleep reading.", or more correctly stated, various ways of expressing the same meaning.
    "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.

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