Student or Learner
I am trying to determine how these present participles are being used.
Please confirm or correct my ‘best guesses’. Thank you.
1) It looks exciting. - adjective
2) I like you rubbing my tummy. - gerund
3) You have been rubbing my tummy. - present participle
4) We saw him swimming. - present participle
5) Swimming quickly he soon left our view - adjective
6) She is wearing a scarf. - present participle
7) He is standing by himself. - present participle
8) He is over there standing all alone. - adjective
9) He wasn’t standing over there yesterday. - present participle
10) He was just sort of standing there. - present participle
11) He may have been standing for a while - present participle
12) I saw him standing over there. - present participle
13) I couldn’t understand why he was standing alone. - gerund
14) Standing on the bridge he looked down at me - adjective
15) At least he seemed to be standing alone. - gerund
Thank you for your prompt response.
I can appreciate that it may look like homework. It is not.
I am trying to get my 'head around" present participles and would like some help with these examples.
They are all my own construction.
P.S. What I am really trying to find is a succinct method to determine what role the present participial is taking in various sentences. I’ve amassed 30 pages of information from the net in the last 3 days & am still at odds.
Last edited by hyang; 27-Mar-2013 at 10:49. Reason: Added P.S....
Welcome to the forum, hyang.
I think you are worrying too much about labelling. Does it really matter what you call the -ing form?
However, if you really want to label, then don't make the mistake of thinking that present participles can be used as gerunds. The -ingform can function as a gerund or as a present participle. A present participle has adjective-like qualities, so there is no normally no point in trying to differentiate between a present participle and an adjective, except possibly when it is used attributively: He bought a statute of a standing figure.
The -ing form in a progressive verb is the present participle; that takes care of 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15
In 1, 2* 4, 5, 12, and 14, the -ing form is acting rather like an adjective; it is therefore a present participle
The -ing form appears to be functioning adjectivally in 8 and 10, but it's just about possible to consider it as part of a progressive verb form It doesn't really matter - in either case 'present participle' is the label.
*2) I like you rubbing my tummy.
This type of -ing form has divided writers on grammar for over a century. In Rubbing a cat's tummy is therapeutic for both you and the cat, there is no doubt that 'rubbing' functions as both a noun (it is the subject of the verb 'is') and a verb (it has as a direct object the noun phrase 'a cat's tummy'. This type of verb-noun is generally called a gerund. We also have a gerund in I like rubbing a cat's tummy.
However, sentence 2 is not so straightforward.
Some people feel that 'rubbing' is the direct object of the verb 'like'. Consequently, it is noun-like and is a gerund. These people usually claim that 'you' is incorrect - it must be 'your'.
Some claim that 'you' is the direct object of 'like', and is therefore correct; 'rubbing' is adjective-like, and is a participle.
Some claim that both interpretations are possible.
Yet another group feels that 'you' is correct but that 'standing' is a gerund.
As I asked at the beginning, "Does it really matter what you call the -ing form?"