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  1. #1
    dio2 is offline Newbie
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    Question The gerund vs The infinitive

    It makes me feel nervous talking about this.
    It makes me feel nervous to talk about this.



    Which one is the right one?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by dio2; 04-Oct-2017 at 09:35.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    They're OK, though I would reverse the order of the first.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 03-Oct-2017 at 16:04. Reason: fixing typo

  3. #3
    dio2 is offline Newbie
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    though I would reverse the order of the first.
    What does that mean?

  4. #4
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    I think he means 'Talking about this makes me feel nervous', where 'Talking' is a gerund rather than a participle.

    I forgot to say 'Welcome' to the OP, my fellow Hongkonger.
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  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think he means 'Talking about this makes me feel nervous', where 'Talking' is a gerund rather than a participle.
    I did.

  6. #6
    dio2 is offline Newbie
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I did.
    OK! I changed the title.

    So, I want to know, are both these two sentences equally common and idiomatic ?
    Last edited by dio2; 04-Oct-2017 at 09:57.

  7. #7
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    The first needs an em-dash after nervous. It could be heard sometimes, but the second is more natural.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    dio2 is offline Newbie
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The first needs an em-dash after nervous. It could be heard sometimes, but the second is more natural.
    Or maybe a comma? Like "It makes me feel nervous, talking about this." , does it work?

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Talking about this makes me nervous works much better for me.

  10. #10
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: The participle vs The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by dio2 View Post
    Or maybe a comma? Like "It makes me feel nervous, talking about this." , does it work?
    Not really, though it would not be surprising to see that in casual writing. You need a dash because the speaker is interrupting the sentence with a new thought.
    I am not a teacher.

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