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  1. #1
    lagoo is offline Member
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    "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    Hi, I came across the sentence below:

    “The teacher is busy collecting the students’ exam papers.”

    Is the form “collecting sth.”a gerund or a present participle phrase?
    I wonder if there is a preposition omitted before “collecting”.

  2. #2
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    'Collecting' is a present participle modifying 'teacher', so a preposition is not needed before it.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    It's common usage - to be busy doing something.

    I am busy cooking dinner.
    He's busy collecting wild herbs.
    She's busy doing her homework.

    Sometimes,
    the verb+ing can be replaced by the word "with" but it doesn't always work.

    I am busy with dinner. (Most people would assume you're cooking it, not eating it.)
    She's busy with her homework. (The meaning would be clear.)
    He's busy with wild herbs. (There are multiple things he could be doing with wild herbs so the specific verb is required.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    lagoo is offline Member
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's common usage - to be busy doing something.
    Could I say that I am sorry having made you unhappy?
    Although it's common usage, I still wanna know if this kind of V-ing form after an adjective is a gerund or a participle.

  5. #5
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    Could I say that I am sorry having made you unhappy?
    I think 'for' is needed after 'sorry'.

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    Although it's common usage, I still wanna know if this kind of V-ing form after an adjective is a gerund or a participle.
    A participle, as in 'I am happy learning English'.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    Could I say that "I am sorry having made you unhappy"?
    Although it's common usage, I still wanna want to know if this kind of V-ing form after an adjective is a gerund or a participle.
    The sentence in quotes is not possible. You can correct it by replacing the participle with a to- infinitive.

    Please don't write wanna.​ It looks like baby talk.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Re: "be busy collecting sth" a gerund or a participle phrase?

    Huddleston and Pullum.

    (However, I'm not familiar with 'AArts'.)

    (Edit)
    It must have something to do with 'Bas Aarts'.
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english/people/bas-aarts
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 05-Sep-2017 at 16:09.

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