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    #1

    modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Hi,

    Do you think it's correct to modify a gerund phrase with an if-clause?

    E.g. Buying a Rolls Royce if I were a millionaire sounds so great.

    The idea of winning 20 million dollars if he were to hit the jackpot always pleases him.


    I'd appreciate your help.
    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 29-Jul-2020 at 08:53.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    You've been here long enough to know that you are the one who needs to come up with an example!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Your sentences don't sound natural.
    You can say, "Dying in ICU would be awful if I couldn't have my loved-ones around me."
    We wouldn't say "The idea of dying in ICU if I couldn't have my loved-ones around me is awful."
    We might say, "The idea of dying in ICU without my loved ones around me is awful." (No "if".)

    Still, there are possible sentences. You might use this construction in speech. I'd avoid it.

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    #4

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Your sentences don't sound natural.
    You can say, "Dying in ICU would be awful if I couldn't have my loved-ones around me."
    We wouldn't say "The idea of dying in ICU if I couldn't have my loved-ones around me is awful."
    We might say, "The idea of dying in ICU without my loved ones around me is awful." (No "if".)

    Still, there are possible sentences. You might use this construction in speech. I'd avoid it.
    The sentences in post #1 are clunky. If they are still correct, I'm wondering whether such sentences are attested in corpora.

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    #5

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post



    E.g. Buying a Rolls Royce if I were a millionaire sounds so great.

    NOT A TEACHER


    I believe that your sentence should read something like: "If I were a millionaire, I would buy a new Rolls Royce every year" or "If I were a millionaire, buying a new Rolls Royce every year would give me great pleasure."

    When you say "If I were a millionaire," you are saying that you are not a millionaire. Therefore, in the rest of the sentence you need to use "would" or "could." When you get some extra time, please read up on the topic of the subjunctive mood.

    By the way, if you wish to put "If I were a millionaire" in the middle of your sentence, you will need to use commas: "Buying a new Rolls Royce every year, if I were a millionaire, would give me great pleasure."

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Good suggestions above.
    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Hi,

    Do you think it's correct to modify a gerund phrase with an if-clause?

    E.g. Buying a Rolls Royce if I were a millionaire sounds so great.

    For casual conversation, it's fine. More formally, the sequence doesn't make sense, because the two ideas should go hand in hand. Either buying a Rolls sounds great or it doesn't. Ditto for being a millionaire. So it wants to be more parallel or sequencial — something like:

    - Being a millionaire and buying a Rolls Royce sound great.
    - Being a millionaire so I can buy a Rolls sounds great.

    The idea of winning 20 million dollars if he were to hit the jackpot always pleases him.

    It's the same logic problem. If he wins, he'll be pleased. If he doesn't, he won't.

    And it's probably not the idea that pleases him. If he wins, then he'll be pleased.

    I'd appreciate your help.
    Hi, Ray!

    I've never heard anyone say we can't use gerund-plus-if sentences. Those two are shaky, but that doesn't mean there aren't better examples.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 30-Jul-2020 at 14:30.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    The sentences were composed to describe someone along the lines of Aesop's milkmaid.
    I suppose ideas about improbable events can be appealing.
    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 30-Jul-2020 at 16:58.

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    #8

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    The sentences were composed to describe someone along the lines of Aesop's milkmaid. . . .
    The one who won $20,000,000 and bought a Rolls?

    I can't remember the moral to that one.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #9

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    it's basically about a woman who indulges in daydreams.
    However improbable, they are pleasant to the daydreamer.

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    #10

    Re: modifying a gerund phrase with an if-clause

    Don't count your chickens ….
    I am not a teacher.

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