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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    (In the movie First Blood)

    John Rambo: Back there I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment, back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    ------------
    Grammatically, can I take the blue part to mean this?

    I can't even hold a job (of) PARKING CARS!

    ------------
    (At 2:04-2:14)
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    No.

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    No.
    Thank you for the reply, jutfrank.

    How about this way?

    I can't even hold a job (even one like) PARKING CARS!
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  4. Moderator
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    #4

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    I don't think this kind of analysis is fruitful.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Key Member
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    #5

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't think this kind of analysis is fruitful.
    But I don't understand the structure of it.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #6

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    But I don't understand the structure of it.
    Why do you want to? I don't understand the phrase's structure, either — at least, I can't explain it — but that doesn't prevent me from understanding its meaning.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Key Member
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    #7

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Why do you want to?
    I am afraid that l would say or write ungrammatical sentences because of lacking English grammatical skills, so l would like to do my best to understand and analyze/analyse any sentences l encounter.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #8

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    If you must, you can understand the phrase as a shortened version of I can't even hold a job [which consists of] PARKING CARS. But given that native speakers don't do this kind of exercise, I can't see how it's going to help you.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. teechar's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    The "-ing" form is a participle phrase modifying (describing/adding detail to) the object "job".

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!

    If you learn some example sentences using this construction, you'll be able to recognise it and, in the longer term, use it correctly yourself.

    I have a job parking cars.
    He had a job baking cakes.
    She wants a job working with animals.

    As GoesStation said, if it helps you understand it, imagine "that consists of" or "that involves" after "job".
    Last edited by GoesStation; 10-Feb-2020 at 17:08. Reason: Fix a typo.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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