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    #1

    Participle phrase or Gerund?

    Deliever the goods while traveling across the nation.

    Complete the task by using the resources given to you.

    Write the report upon arriving in Seattle.

    The phrases in bold are gramatically considered as gerunds or participles? And why?


    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    I expect that others more interested in labelling than I will give appropriate answers.

    I simply wonder if what we call the -ing forms is important. I sometimes feel that some teachers and some materials attach more importance to the names of constructions than to how they are used.

    This is not a criticism of you, vcolts - yours is a natural question given the importance some people appear to attach to labels.
    Last edited by 5jj; 03-Oct-2011 at 12:14. Reason: typo

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    #3

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    NOT A TEACHER

    JUST GIVING MY OPINION. I MAY OR MAY NOT BE RIGHT.

    PHRASES MENTIONED BY YOU ARE PARTCIPLES.

    They are participle because these phrases indicates towards the subject. For example here we consider the subject "you" to understand these sentences.

    Deliver the goods while (you) travelling across the nation.
    Write the report upon you arriving in Seattle.
    Same is the case with your next sentence.

    Further, They are participle. It can be checked by moving the phrase around the subject.

    While travelling across the nation, you deliver the goods.
    Upon arriving in Seattle, you write the report.
    Same is the case with your next sentence.


    Quote Originally Posted by vcolts View Post
    Deliever the goods while traveling across the nation.

    Complete the task by using the resources given to you.

    Write the report upon arriving in Seattle.

    The phrases in bold are gramatically considered as gerunds or participles? And why?


    Thanks in advance.

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    #4

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by vcolts View Post
    Deliever the goods while traveling across the nation.

    Complete the task by using the resources given to you.

    Write the report upon arriving in Seattle.

    The phrases in bold are gramatically considered as gerunds or participles? And why?


    Thanks in advance.

    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) I am a learner who also likes to analyze parts of speech.

    (2) As Teacher Fivejedjon told us, some books no longer use words such as

    "participles" and "gerunds." Instead, they are just called "-ing words."

    (3) I think that your first sentence is a participle. Consider:

    (You will) deliver the goods while you are traveling across the nation.

    (You will) deliver the goods while traveling across the nation.

    (You will) deliver the goods traveling across the nation.

    NOTES:

    (a) The first sentence is rather long.

    (b) The third sentence is not clear at first reading: Who is traveling? You or the goods?

    (c) Thus the second sentence seems to be a nice compromise.

    (d) The great Professor George O. Curme said that instead of "Going downtown, I

    met an old friend," English speakers have tried to "improve" it by adding the

    conjunction of the full clause. Well, I guess the full clause is: While I was going

    downtown, I met an old friend." Since that it is too long, we simply "borrow" the

    conjunction and get "While going downtown, I met an old friend." So if we are

    forced to classify the -ing word, then I guess we would have to call it a participle.

    What do you think?

    (4) I assume that your last two sentences contain so-called gerunds because any

    -ing word after a preposition is usually classified as a gerund:

    By (your) using the resources. = by your use [noun] of the resources.

    Upon (your) arriving in Seattle. = upon your arrival [noun] in Seattle.


    P.S. If any teacher shows my opinions to be absolutely wrong, I shall

    delete this post, for usingenglish.com is very strict: we non-teachers must

    not post nonsense.

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    #5

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    Deleted the quote
    Last edited by rajan; 03-Oct-2011 at 09:38.

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    #6

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    rajan, please do not quote a long response without good reason.

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    #7

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    Any teacher's take on this?

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    #8

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I expect that others more interested in labelling than I will give appropriate answers.

    I simply wonder if what we call the -ing forms is important. I sometimes feel that some teachers and some materials attach more importance to the names of constructions than to how they are used.

    This is not a criticism of you, vcolts - yours is a natural question give the importance some people appear to attach to labels.
    I do agree with you, as I am not an ESL student. (I was one more than a decade ago.) My profs told me something similar regarding grammar. It is just that English is my second language, and I want to have proper terms and construction logic in my head so that I do not make mistakes when writing (kinda like philosophy or math). I think I forget the terms, constructions, or logics as time passes (probably due to increasing time past the grammar education in high school or as an ESL student).

    The upside is that my writing (academic writing only) tends to be less prone to grammatical errors while many native writers tend to write as they speak and pay much less attention to grammar, making more grammatical errors. However, the amount of time thinking about grammar and English in general takes up an incredible amount of time.
    Last edited by vcolts; 03-Oct-2011 at 11:29.

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    #9

    Re: Participle phrase or Gerund?

    I would agree with The Parser's analysis- the first comes after a conjunction and can be expanded the way he suggests, while the other two are after prepositions.

    One problem with this sort of distinction is that they have grey areas- sometimes it's hard or even impossible to decide, for example, whether a participle is functioning as an adjective or not, because it's not a simple A/B choice, but gradations. I think that when someone has reached the level you're at, then there's a good case for going a step beyond labels. Labelling can be like butterfly collecting- it produces nice boxes full of all the species, in categories, but it's lacking the flight, the life, the movement, etc.

    So here's a question for you- what's an -ing form for? What does -ing denote, regardless of whether it's a participle or gerund, or the grammatical function it has? Move on to the unified -ing theory.

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