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  1. Unregistered


    in the sentence 'i was watching the baby playing on her mother's lap yesterdy.' what part of the sentence is 'playing'? can a present participle be used as a verb wthout the verb to be?
    thank you
    se kidby

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: verbs

    Present participle: I watched the baby (who was) playing on her mother's lap.

    The array 'who was playing on her mother's lap' functions as a relative clause. It modifies the noun 'baby'. Take out the 'who was' part and the result is called a reduced relative clause. It functions as an adjectival phrase with the present participle 'playing' as the head of that phrase.

    Note, is + ing verbs forms are made up of two verbal units: A form of the verb BE (is, are, am, was, were, etc.) and a present participle.

    All the best.

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335

    Re: verbs

    I usually call that construction Complex Object.
    Present Participle is a morphological term while the question was abt part of sentence, which refers to syntax.
    So, on the sentence level, I'd say it's part of the direct complex object.

    [Within the sentence we usually distinguish two syntactical levels of analysis, one belonging to the sentence proper, which is called the sentence level and one belonging to various phrases treated as a whole and functioning in the sentence with the same force as separate words. This level of analysis of syntactical relations between words is called the phrase level.]

    Mmm...I find it difficult to determine its role on the phrase level - perhaps an attribute?

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 3

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    'i was watching the baby playing on her mother's lap yesterdy.'
    Can I rewrite this sentence like this,"I was watching the playing baby on her mother's lap yesterday."

    Is it right or wrong ?

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