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    #1

    Nouns before Gerunds

    I have often seen nouns used before gerunds such as in the following cases:

    "Companies using fear marketing is a wrong practice."
    "I disagree with companies using fear marketing to sell products."

    I am wondering though, which is the subject (in the first sentence) or the object of the preposition (in the second sentence): "companies" or "using"?

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    #2

    Re: Nouns before Gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmacalalad View Post
    I have often seen nouns used before gerunds such as in the following cases:

    "Companies using fear marketing is a wrong practice."
    "I disagree with companies using fear marketing to sell products."

    I am wondering though, which is the subject (in the first sentence) or the object of the preposition (in the second sentence): "companies" or "using"?
    Hi, sarahmacalalad,

    They (usings) are not gerunds but participles, called present particples. Both of them function in your sentences as post-modifiers. That is, they are respectively modifying the preceding nouns (=companies).



    And you can simply use relative clauses to substitue for them.
    1 Companies (subject) that use fear market is a wrong practice.
    2 I disagree with companies (object of "with") that use fear marketing to seel products.


    Notice: Neither a native speaker nor an English teacher.

    Natives may be coming soon.
    Last edited by LQZ; 27-Apr-2011 at 04:57.

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    #3

    Re: Nouns before Gerunds

    Thanks for the response LQZ, but I'm still a bit confused.

    If they function as participles that modify "companies," they can be dropped without it greatly affecting the meaning of the sentence right? As in the case of "Students that study hard pass their tests." >> "Students pass their tests."

    But in the examples I gave, that does largely change the meaning of the sentence (plus that would mean the first sentence has a subject-verb agreement error).

    "Companies [using fear marketing] is a wrong practice."
    "Companies is a wrong practice." vs. "Using fear marketing is a wrong practice."

    "I disagree with companies [using fear marketing to sell products]."
    "I disagree with companies." vs. "I disagree with using fear marketing to sell products."

    Assuming the bolded sentences are the actual meanings of the sentences the writer wrote, does it still hold true that "using" is a participle and not a gerund?

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    #4

    Re: Nouns before Gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmacalalad View Post
    I have often seen nouns used before gerunds such as in the following cases:

    "Companies using fear marketing is a wrong practice."
    Companies can't be a wrong practice. I think you mean, "The use of fear marketing by companies is a wrong practice", or "Fear marketing by companies is a wrong practice" or "A company's use of fear marketing is a wrong practice."
    The subjects in these three sentences are "use", "Fear marketing", and "use" respectively.

    "I disagree with companies using fear marketing to sell products." OK
    I am wondering though, which is the subject (in the first sentence) or the object of the preposition (in the second sentence): "companies" or "using"? The first sentence is ungrammatical, so you needn't analyze it.

    "fear" functions as an adjective here to the noun, "marketing".
    Note that many "-ing" words that began as gerunds are more noun-like:
    "It was a surprise meeting". Not many people would call "meeting" a gerund or a participle. It's an established noun, as I would argue, is "marketing." 'Surprise' here is an adjective.
    Other nouns: Christening, wedding, flogging, lighting, sprinkling ...

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    #5

    Re: Nouns before Gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "fear" functions as an adjective here to the noun, "marketing".
    Note that many "-ing" words that began as gerunds are more noun-like:
    "It was a surprise meeting". Not many people would call "meeting" a gerund or a participle. It's an established noun, as I would argue, is "marketing." 'Surprise' here is an adjective.
    Other nouns: Christening, wedding, flogging, lighting, sprinkling ...

    I understand what you are saying and the difference between nouns ending with -ing (such as meeting, building, feeling, etc.) and gerunds.

    However, in "I disagree with companies using fear marketing to sell products." what is the object of the preposition: "companies" or "using"?

    "I disagree with companies." vs. "I disagree with using fear marketing." have two different meanings (let us assume the writer actually meant "I disagree with using fear marketing").

    The reason for me asking is to determine if "using" functions as a gerund and if we can use nouns before gerunds such as in the cases of my two examples.

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    #6

    Re: Nouns before Gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmacalalad View Post
    However, in "I disagree with companies using fear marketing to sell products." what is the object of the preposition: "companies" or "using"?
    The object of 'with'? I'd say "companies using fear marketing to sell products."

    "I disagree with companies." vs. "I disagree with using fear marketing." have two different meanings (let us assume the writer actually meant "I disagree with using fear marketing").
    This would be better expressed as "I disagree with the use of fear marketing by companies" or "I disagree with a company's use of fear marketing."

    The reason for me asking is to determine if "using" functions as a gerund and if we can use nouns before gerunds such as in the cases of my two examples.
    Sorry, I assumed that the noun/gerund pair you were refering to was "fear marketing", but apparently it's "Companies using".
    As discussed, the first sentence is wrong.
    Yes, "companies" is a noun, and "using" is a present participle, as LQZ said. It means, "Companies [that are] using fear marketing ..."
    Looked at in this way, you can take "companies" as the simple object of "with". But it's really "companies [that are] using fear marketing", or "companies which use fear marketing."
    "Using" can be the simple object in "I disagree with a company's using of fear marketing."

    The sentence, "I disagree with companies using fear marketing" can be analysed several ways depending on whether the primary intention is "I disagree with those companies which use fear marketing" or "I disagree with a company's use of fear marketing."

    At least that's how I see it.

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