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    #1

    Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase

    Example from Manhattan:
    Unparallel usage: He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capture of its crew
    Correct: He received a medal for the sinking of an enemy ship and the capture of its crew
    Reason:
    the sinking of an enemy ship is a complex gerund phrase
    the capture of its crew is a noun phrase
    The original sentence was incorrect because it attempted to put a simple gerund phrase (sinking an enemy ship) in parallel with an action noun phrase
    My query:
    Would the following be correct?
    He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capturing its crew [here both are simple gerund phrases]
    Thank you!

  1. Calis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase

    The first two sentences quoted are correct; a gerund phrase and a noun phrase can exist together and you can also have noun phrase with noun phrase and gerund phrase with gerund phrase. Your third sentence is incorrect because you are saying "the act of capturing its crew" (by way of the "the" in front of the gerund) and therefore needs an "of" between "capturing" and "crew" or you need to delete the "the".

    So:
    He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capturing its crew
    or:
    He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capturing of its crew

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase

    I agree with Calis. I'm pretty tough on parallelism and don't find a gerund to be a bad partner to a noun as parallel items.

    I prefer "sinking... and capturing" and I can live with "sinking... and the capture" without saying "Your parallel structure is wrong.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I agree with Calis. I'm pretty tough on parallelism and don't find a gerund to be a bad partner to a noun as parallel items.

    I prefer "sinking... and capturing" and I can live with "sinking... and the capture" without saying "Your parallel structure is wrong.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks Calis and Barb_D!

    1) Please correct me if I'm wrong with the following understanding of nouns (concrete/action/simple gerun/complex gerund):
    sinking an enemy ship - simple gerund
    the sinking of an enemy ship - complex gerund
    the capture of its crew - action noun
    the capturing of its crew - complex gerund
    capturing its crew - simple gerund

    2) Does the following reflect a correct understanding of parallelism with nouns:
    (i) He received a medal for the sinking of an enemy ship and the capture of its crew
    Correct | complex gerund parallel to action noun
    (ii) He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and capturing its crew
    Correct | both are simple gerunds & hence parallel
    (iii) He received a medal for the sinking of an enemy ship and the capturing of its crew
    Correct | both complex gerunds & hence parallel
    (iv) He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capture of its crew
    Unsure | simple gerund and action noun here

    3) simple gerund and action noun above - Can they be parallel? Please explain

    Thank you!

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase

    I can't answer your question because I'm not familiar with the terms "complex gerund" and "action noun."

    All I can do is repeat that while I prefer "sinking... and capturing" that I don't object to "sinking... and the capture" as parallel elements. They are both "noun like" if not complete nouns. Why do you feel pairing a complex gerun and an action noun (in i) is okay, but pairing a simple gerun and an action noun is not okay?

    I can tell you that
    i doesn't make it clear that HE sunk the ship. It could have simply happened under his command. It it, however, correct grammatically.
    ii is my preferred one
    iii sounds awkward with "the capturing of its crew"
    iv is what we're talking about and would be the only correct choice if HE sunk the ship, but someone else was part of capturing the crew. His ship launched the torpedo, but his ship and two others collected the crew from the water, for example.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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