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    #1

    Verb Pattern

    Hello, here I am again.
    This time my doubt is about verb patterns..actually it's about how to consider the verbe tense.
    I have to admit that my question is a bit complicated to myself, so I promise I'll try to be as clear as I can.
    Let's use this sentence as a example to start with:

    "Mary blamed me for stealing pens in the office".

    So, what I know in this case is that the verb "blame" has to be followed by FOR + verb-ing.
    But my question is not about that. My doubt is about how to consider the word "stealing" in that sentence.
    I try to explain:
    The sentence I wrote down above means that:

    1) I usually steal pens in the office (as a usual action) and Mary blamed me for this;

    2) I've stolen pens in the office (as a specific action, happened just once and not as a usual action) and Mary blamed me for that.

    This my doubt comes up as I'm not able to understand how I could write these two sentence properly; I mean, there is a strong difference because in the first one I usually steal pens (like everyday), whereas in the second one I've stolen pens just once.

    So, could you help me to clarify this??
    The sentence I wrote down as an example may be referred to 1) or 2) ???
    And I will be very greatful if you would say to me how to write properly both of them.

    I hope that I've been clear. However, sorry in advance for my messy explanation.

    Thanks

  1. Dena11's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Verb Pattern

    Hi Enrico, I don't think I fully understand the question, but maybe I can help a little bit. You wanted to know how to write two sentences. One for a situation in which you frequently steal pens and another in which you stole a single pen. Is that right? When you write that Mary "blamed" you, do you mean "blamed" or "accused"? There are many ways to write the sentences, but here are two possibilities.

    1. I (always, often, sometimes, frequently, usually) steal pens from the office. Mary blamed me for stealing the pens.
    2. I stole a pen from the office and Mary blamed me for it.

    In the second sentence, "a pen" shows that a single pen was stolen.

    Does that help at all?

    Dena
    Editor and writer. Not a teacher.

    “Remove the comma, replace the comma, remove the comma, replace the comma...”
    - R.D. Ronald


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    #3

    Re: Verb Pattern

    In your sentence, it is not entirely clear, but I would imagine that it is more likely that you are being blamed for repeated thefts of pens. If it were a single incident, then I think it would make more sense to say the pens, though that does not completely remove the possibility of there being more than one theft. It's a case where the context would make things clear- people would know if you were talking about a single incident or not, and if they didn't, it would make sense to state this clearly if they have to know one way or the other.

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    #4

    Re: Verb Pattern

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


    Hello, Enrico:

    Maybe this is one of those times when an adverb would come in handy.

    I think that the following is pretty clear that you are a serial thief [thanks to Dena for the verb]:

    "The manager accused me of repeatedly stealing pens from the office."

    Maybe the following sentence would strongly suggest that it was just a one-time mistake:

    "The manager blamed me for those pens that were stolen from the office."

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    #5

    Re: Verb Pattern

    Thanks everybody for helping me, the question is even getting more interesting abd by reading your replies I found answers for more questions :)
    Going back to my first post, the problem was not about "how many pens"; I have do admit that my question is a bit tricky to explain :( but 'll try to ask you in a different way: in my first sentence (Mary blamed me for stealing pens), the expression "for stealing" is referred to an action which has already happened or is it referred to an action which happens usually??

    Maybe one more example will be helpful: I deny stealing pens.
    Now the focus is not on the pen, and neither on the verb deny. My question concerns the expression stealing.Does my sentence mean that I stole pens (in the past, referred to a specific action) and now I don't want to admit that??
    Or does it means that I usually steal pens (as a usual action, not a specific one)???

    Maybe, as The Parser said, the only way to distinguish them is to use an adverb??

    Thanks again

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