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  1. yuriya's Avatar
    Student or Learner
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    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    Smile all they are doing is

    Hi, everyone! It's been a while since I last visited here. I hope everyone's doing all right.

    I've been quite curious about "pseudo cleft" for a while, and I've been told to think of it as "splitting tense (do) from the verb (bare infinitive)" like the following:

    All she has done/does is watch MTV. (not watching, to watch, watched, or watches)
    All she did was watch MTV. (not watching, to watch or watched)

    When the sentence order is reversed (reverse pseudo cleft), however, gerund should be used instead of to-infinitives or bare infinitives:

    Watching MTV is (was) all she does/has done/did.

    Am I getting them all right?

    Well now I am coming across pseudo cleft with progressive tense (or aspect to be exact) and notice ing-forms after the verb be:

    All they're doing is lip-syncing capitalism.
    All they're doing is making Apple look like a leader.

    Would it be wrong to use bare infinitive (lip-sync/make) instead of ing forms (lip-syncing/making)? What would be the rationale behind using ing forms and are these ing-forms gerund or present participle?
    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by yuriya; 11-Sep-2010 at 05:39. Reason: grammar term corrections(pseudo cleft)

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: all they are doing is

    Not wrong. Your first analysis is fine. There's a growing tendency to use the present continuous when the action is still going on. (I don't know if there's a 'rule' of any kind here - perhaps other teachers would know ...



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