Student or Learner
i hope to see you reaching at least semi-finals.
"reaching" here is a gerund or a continious tense?
may i have an explanation?
i hope to see you reaching at least semi-finals
i hope to see you reach at least semi-finals
are these two the same meaning?which one is more suitable?
Last edited by hey_friends; 05-Apr-2008 at 10:08.
In this sentence, reaching is a present participle functioning as object complement*.
In a recent post (I can’t remember offhand which) I explained how you can tell whether an –ing form is a gerund or not: “A quick way to determine whether an -ing form in a sentence is a gerund or not is to try and replace it by a noun or pronoun. If you can, it's a gerund, if you can't it's a present participle.
For example, in the following sentence:
I hate doing the ironing
you can replace doing the ironing by a pronoun: I hate that. So it's a gerund."
In I hope to see you reaching at least semi-finals, it’s impossible to replace reaching etc by a noun or pronoun.
Both your sentences are acceptable. In this case there is no difference in meaning but this is what the grammarian Michael Swan says**, “There is often a difference of meaning. We use an infinitive after hear and see to say that we heard or saw the whole of an action or event, and we use an –ing form to suggest that we heard or saw part of an action. Compare:
I saw her cross the road (from one side to the other)
I saw her crossing the road. (in the middle of the road, on her way across).
Most grammarians would corroborate this explanation, some linguists disagree.
*“Practical English Usage”, Michael Swan, OUP 1988, 456
**Practical English Usage”, Michael Swan, OUP 1988, 288