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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #1

    Question Continous form or Gerund?

    1)Removing his coat, Jack rushed to the river.
    2)Carrying a heavy pile of books, his foot caught on a step.
    3)Arriving at the store, I found that it was closed.
    4)Washing and polishing the car, Frank developed sore muscles.

    removing, carrying, arriving, washing and polishing are continous action or gerund?
    i am very confusing about these.i hope you guys can help me.please attach explanation.
    thanks

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: Continous form or Gerund?

    I am not a professional teacher but this ia a simple question which I can answer. The ‘ing’ or present participle form of a verb is used as gerund (or verbal noun). The present participle can not be directly used as verb in a sentence. The group of words "I walking to the store" is an incomplete and ungrammatical sentence, while word group "I am walking to the store" is a complete sentence. The words removing, carrying, arriving, washing and polishing used here, all function as gerunds (rather gerund phrases)? The continuous tense forms need the help of verb "be" to make a complete sentence as shown in the above example.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #3

    Re: Continous form or Gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by hey_friends View Post
    1)Removing his coat, Jack rushed to the river.
    2)Carrying a heavy pile of books, his foot caught on a step.
    3)Arriving at the store, I found that it was closed.
    4)Washing and polishing the car, Frank developed sore muscles.

    removing, carrying, arriving, washing and polishing are continous action or gerund?
    i am very confusing about these.i hope you guys can help me.please attach explanation.
    thanks
    All these –ing forms are in fact present participles, not gerunds. You can see an interesting discussion about this in the thread opened by Håkon, ‘Tense’ 4 April 2008. I reproduce below thecontribution I made:

    “-ing forms are not necessarily gerunds. 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.”

    Hey_friends, none of your –ing words above can be replaced by a noun or pronoun, so they are not gerunds but present participles.

    Incidentally, there’s a bit of problem with your second sentence where your participle clause (the -ing clause) is an example of a “dangling participle”, which is generally considered to be a mistake. Michael Swan says this about dangling participles *:

    “Normally the subject of a participle clause is the same as the subject of the main clause in a sentence.
    My wife had a long talk with Sally, explaining why she didn’t want the children to play together. (My wife is the subject of explaining.)
    It is usually considered a mistake to make sentences like these in which the subjects are different.
    Looking out of the window of our hotel room, there were lots of mountains. (This sounds as if the mountains were looking out of the window.)"

    In your sentence, the two subjects are not the same so it sounds as if his foot was carrying the books!

    You needn’t worry too much about it though, as you are in good company: native speakers very often get it wrong too.

    *Practical English Usage”, Michael Swan, OUP 1988, 255.2
    Last edited by naomimalan; 08-Apr-2008 at 18:19.

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