Student or Learner
This is my first time posting here. As English is my second language, I have many issues trying to understand some grammar rules. I've just recently come across a sentence and am confused about the last verb whether we should use the base form of the verb or the verb+ing.
I like to see her dance on stage.
I like to see her dancing on stage.
1. Which sentence is correct?
2. If both are right, is there a difference in meaning between the two?
I'd also really appreciate it if you could tell me which grammar item I should search for if I want to learn more about the rules for this type of usage. I tried looking under 'catenative verbs' but could not find an explanation for the sentence above.
Thanks for your help.
You have asked a great question. I am eager to see what other posters say.
1. If you wish to research this topic on the Web, I believe that you should use key words such as "verbs of perception,"
"bare infinitive," and "present participle."
2. I did find something that may interest you:
We heard you leave. (emphasizes "our hearing")
We heard you leaving. (emphasizes "your leaving")
3. If you buy (accept) this theory, then maybe (a big "maybe"):
I like to see her dance on the stage. (emphasizes "my seeing")
I like to see her dancing on the stage (emphasizes "her dancing")
For example, let's say that "she" had an accident and people thought that she would never dance again. But now she is
back on the stage. You might say, "I love to see her dancing on the stage again. I never thought that this day would ever
come." (emphasizes her dancing)
One source on the Web gave this example: "I love to hear you laugh." This source says "This is an expression of what he
likes." According to that theory above, the emphasis is on "my hearing." But let's say that a friend has had a horrible tragedy
in his life. But then your friend starts to laugh again. You might say, "I really love to hear you laughing again. I am so glad
that you have been able to recover from that horrible tragedy." (The emphasis is on "your laughing.")
* Total credit for these ideas go to "Jennifer," a teacher of English on the Web; the website Eslgold.