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  1. yuriya's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile gerund or participle

    Hello, everyone! I'm working on -ing form of verbs these days. In the following examples, please explain which category these -ing forms belong to and their roles in the sentence. Thanks in advance!

    1. After dinner, I cleaned up the dishes and Spader went to work cleaning up the rest of his house.

    2. He got us jobs working at the farm.

    3. I took them fishing.

    4. He went shopping.

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    #2

    Re: gerund or participle

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    Hello, everyone! I'm working on -ing form of verbs these days. In the following examples, please explain which category these -ing forms belong to and their roles in the sentence. Thanks in advance!

    1. After dinner, I cleaned up the dishes and Spader went to work cleaning up the rest of his house.

    2. He got us jobs working at the farm.

    3. I took them fishing.

    4. He went shopping.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Yuriya.

    (1) This is such a difficult matter that some books no longer use words such as "gerund" or "participle" anymore. They just say -ing words.

    (2) Of course, I dare not give you any answers.

    (3) All I can do is to offer what I have found in my favorite books. Then you will have to decide for yourself.

    (4) In Descriptive Grammar (Professors House & Harman), there are some sentences that seem similar to yours.

    That fellow kept gritting his teeth.
    He felt himself sinking.
    We saw them eating peanuts.

    The professors say that "gritting" is a participle that modifies the subject "fellow"; "sinking" and "eating" are participles that are being used as objective complements of "himself" and "them."

    (5) In A Grammar of Present-Day English (Professors Pence and Emery), they analyze a sentence similar to your last sentence:

    The children came running into the house.

    The professors say there are two ways to analyze this sentence:

    ***** Method #1.

    "Running" is a participle that refers to "children"; "came" is being used as a linking verb.

    ***** Method #2.

    (a) This is very difficult.
    (b) Many (many!!!) years ago, the English people used the preposition "on" + gerund.
    (i) So maybe they would say: The children came on running.
    (ii) Then the people started to say it faster, so they started to say: The children came a-running.
    (iii) Finally, they dropped the "a," and it became Method #1.

    (c) Some experts say that -- if you wish to -- you may imagine that there is a preposition there ("on" or "a"). In that case, it becomes a prepositional phrase that modifies the verb "came."

    Therefore, we can say that "running" modifies the verb came.

    (d) Today people still occasionally use a- + gerund to give their speech or writing a different flavor:

    She burst out a-crying./ Hurry up! Time is a-wasting!/ I was a-wondering what had happened. Thanks for finally telling me.

    *****

    Finally, to show you how difficult this is, here are two sentences from Understanding English by Professor Paul Roberts:

    (a) I saw HIS walking. (gerund -- noun)
    (b) I saw HIM walking. (participle)

    Professor Roberts says that (a) refers to the way that he walks.
    (My example, NOT the professor's: Look at his walking. I think he's sick.)

    The professor says that (b) refers to the fact that he is walking. (Again only my example: He says that he cannot walk. He is lying. I saw him walking yesterday.)

    ***** Have a nice day!

  2. yuriya's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: gerund or participle

    1. After dinner, I cleaned up the dishes and Spader went to work cleaning up the rest of his house.
    2. He got us jobs working at the farm.
    I think "cleaning up the rest of his house"and "working at the farm" in the above sentences are gerunds (or more precisely gerund phrases) and used as appositives to "work" and "jobs" respectively. Any comments on this observation?

    3. I took them fishing
    4. He went shopping.
    When I came across the sentence 3 above, I realized that go + gerund (leisure-related Verbs) could be extended to come/take as well.

    He went/came shopping/dancing.
    I took him shopping/dancing.
    (What about bring then? I brought them shopping/dancing.)

    I just wonder what these gerunds's roles in the sentences. They seem to be close to objects but then, normally go/come do not take objects. For that matter, take certainly doesn't take two object either. Maybe, this is why go + gerund structure is taught separately like idioms in ESL grammar. I'm also curious how this thing is taught to the natives?

    A note of caution:
    [gerund] He went dancing. Does he come dancing here often?
    [participle] He went/came dancing like a maniac.

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    #4

    Re: gerund or participle

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    I think "cleaning up the rest of his house"and "working at the farm" in the above sentences are gerunds (or more precisely gerund phrases) and used as appositives to "work" and "jobs" respectively. Any comments on this observation?



    When I came across the sentence 3 above, I realized that go + gerund (leisure-related Verbs) could be extended to come/take as well.

    He went/came shopping/dancing.
    I took him shopping/dancing.
    (What about bring then? I brought them shopping/dancing.)

    I just wonder what these gerunds's roles in the sentences. They seem to be close to objects but then, normally go/come do not take objects. For that matter, take certainly doesn't take two object either. Maybe, this is why go + gerund structure is taught separately like idioms in ESL grammar. I'm also curious how this thing is taught to the natives?

    A note of caution:
    [gerund] He went dancing. Does he come dancing here often?
    [participle] He went/came dancing like a maniac.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Yuriya.

    (1) He went to work cleaning up the house.

    (a) It is probably not an appositive because there is no pause.

    (i) compare:

    He left the house and then went to his work, cleaning houses.

    (In that case, "cleaning houses" seems like a gerund playing the role of an appositive.)

    (b) But it is not important what I think. Your question forced me to search my books, and I'm 90% sure that I found it in the second volume of Dr. George O. Curme's A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:

    To indicate CONTINUED ACTIVITY we employ the PRESENT PARTICIPLE:

    He went HUNTING, FISHING, SWIMMING.
    He took ME out RIDING.
    AXEMEN were put to work GETTING OUT TIMBER FOR BRIDGES.

    He says that those three sentences are abridgments (shortened versions) of clauses of PURPOSE.

    Maybe (these are my examples -- NOT the professor's) the "complete" clause would be SOMETHING like:

    He went so that he could hunt.

    He took me out so that I could ride.

    Axemen were put to work so that they could get out timber for bridges.

    *****

    Thank you for forcing me to better understand my native language.

    Have a nice day!

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    #5

    Re: gerund or participle

    Does anyone want me to explain why I think all four -ing forms are a gerund?

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    #6

    Re: gerund or participle

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Does anyone want me to explain why I think all four -ing forms are a gerund?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    As I tried to explain in my first post in this interesting thread,

    Professor Curme (and other grammarians) say that you may consider

    most or all of them gerunds IF you also assume that there is a deleted

    preposition ("on" or later "a.")

    Thank you.

  4. yuriya's Avatar
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    #7

    Talking Re: gerund or participle

    There seems to be confusion and disagreement about some grammar terms. Gerund and (present) participles are no exceptions, no doubt.

    1. Swimming is an official Olympic sport. [Gerund]
    2. He definitely loves swimming here! [Gerund?/Participle?]
    3. He is swimming here right now. [Participle]

    I'm reasonably sure that most grammarians would agree on sentence 1 and 3. In sentence 1, swimming is used as a subject like a noun and does not connote the aspect of CONTINUATION. In sentence 3, swimming is used as a subject complement, carrying the aspect of CONTINUATION with it.

    Sentence 2 can be analyzed as the following.

    2. He definitely loves swimming here!
    He is swimming here (right now) and (I see that) he definitely loves it.
    (I'm aware that this is just one possible interpretation of the sentence)

    As you can see, swimming here not only partakes the aspect of CONTINUATION but also takes the role of an object like a noun.

    With that in mind, decide for yourself which definition has more merit in capturing the different grammatical features contrasted in the following examples:

    4. He went swimming an hour ago.
    4-1. He went swimming graciously into the river.

    5. He went back to work writing his novel.
    5-1. He went back to work smiling.

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