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  1. Mad-ox's Avatar
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    #1

    laughter/laughing

    hi,

    Does the word laughing exist as a noun? If so, is the word laughing synonimous with the word laughter?

    m

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    #2

    Re: laughter/laughing

    laughing can be 1. the gerund or present participle of the verb "to laugh" or
    2. an adjective e.g. laughing gas
    Thus, it is not a noun.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: laughter/laughing

    But some would say that a gerund is a verbal noun.

    The sentences He heard laughing and He heard laughter are very close in meaning, and they're both perfectly grammatical.

    b

    PS - now I see them on the screen, I see no difference between the meanings of those sentences. But if you introduce some[one] a slight difference begins to appear:
    He heard someone laughing suggests there was only one person laughing. He heard some laughter suggests that there may have been more than one person laughing; and He heard laughter suggests that there very probably was more than one person laughing.
    Last edited by BobK; 10-Nov-2006 at 11:23. Reason: PS added

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    #4

    Re: laughter/laughing

    according to some purists there is no such thing as "perfect synonyms" in any language

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: laughter/laughing

    Quote Originally Posted by eflnow View Post
    according to some purists there is no such thing as "perfect synonyms" in any language
    And I'd tend to agree with them, in theory. I just couldn't, in practice, distinguish between the two sentences. To hedge my bets though - in case someone could - I didn't say they meant the same, but just that I couldn't tell the difference.

    b

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