Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 801
    #1

    Two different ways ...

    Hell,

    Can somebody enlighten me on why sometimes it is said "I saw him crossing the street", "they let her cooling her heels in the outer office", and sometimes "I saw him cross the street", "they let her cool her heels in the outer office"? Two different ways of putting the same thing and I would like to know why the "-ing" is sometimes used, and why sometimes the second verb can do without it.


    Thank you

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #2

    Re: Two different ways ...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Here [this] is the usual explanation when using the verb "see":

    1. I saw her cross the street.= I saw her actually get from one side of the street to the other. I know that she got safely across.

    2. I saw her crossing the street. = I saw her in the street. But I do not know whether she actually finished crossing. (My telephone rang, so I turned my head away from the window. Who knows? Maybe she decided to turn back, or maybe a car hit her, etc.)

    *****

    That explanation does NOT work for the verb "let." Therefore, I am 99.99% sure that native speakers would NOT say "They let her cooling her heels in the office."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #3

    Re: Two different ways ...

    I wouldn't use "let" there anyway. "They left her cooling her heels" works for me.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 801
    #4

    Re: Two different ways ...

    You are right, Dave, my fault; it should have been the word "left" in my example.

  1. Roman55's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 2,309
    #5

    Re: Two different ways ...

    I am not a teacher.

    I agree with the explanation about cross/crossing.

    In the second case there is another difference, although some speakers might feel that it is insignificant.

    'They left her cooling her heels in the outer office' means that when they left her, that is what she was doing.
    'They left her to cool her heels in the outer office' means that they left her so that she could cool her heels in the outer office.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Will you take it two ways?
    By Heidi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2011, 09:02
  2. know about; in many ways
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Dec-2010, 13:57
  3. [General] other ways to say this
    By aous02 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-Jun-2009, 17:18
  4. have a ways to go
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 17-Apr-2008, 20:56
  5. both either; the ways
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2007, 16:08

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •