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    • Join Date: Aug 2008
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    #1

    to be looking?

    Dear teacher,

    I saw this sentence somewhere on an internet.

    " Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourseloves if we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking for something in the person we are about to judge.

    My question is the "to be looking" is under what grammar? Why use "to be looking" there? If I change it to " ... rather than look for something ....", will it change the original meaning?

    Thank you.

    ong

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    re: to be looking?

    Quote Originally Posted by ongshang View Post
    Dear teacher,

    I saw this sentence somewhere on an internet.

    " Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourseloves if we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking for something in the person we are about to judge.

    My question is the "to be looking" is under what grammar? Why use "to be looking" there? If I change it to " ... rather than look for something ....", will it change the original meaning?

    Thank you.

    ong
    It would be OK to use "look". The author used "to be looking" as a variant for emphasis. It means the same thing.


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    #3

    re: to be looking?

    Thanks a lot Raymott. I would like to trouble you again for the similar question.

    I have heard of "to be + noun" (I want to be a doctor); "to be + present participle" sounds a bit new to me. I just can think of any sentence in this structure. Could you please show me some examples using "to be + present participle"?


    Thanks again.
    ong

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    re: to be looking?

    Quote Originally Posted by ongshang View Post
    Thanks a lot Raymott. I would like to trouble you again for the similar question.

    I have heard of "to be + noun" (I want to be a doctor); "to be + present participle" sounds a bit new to me. I just can think of any sentence in this structure. Could you please show me some examples using "to be + present participle"?


    Thanks again.
    ong
    He's resting. That could be seen to be slacking off.
    I'm too poor to be paying these exorbitant university fees!
    She looked thrilled to be holding the baby.
    You should be ashamed to be driving so recklessly!
    He is expected to be giving a speech tonight.
    You don't expect a Vice President to be shooting his friend in the face.
    This is the second time for a woman to be running as Vice President.
    Who would have expected Beijing to be hosting the Olympics?




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    #5

    re: to be looking?

    I really appreciate your help, Raymott. Just last question. What topic shall I look for regarding this structure in a grammar book? (I mean under tenses, gerund, etc.)

    Thanks.
    ong

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    re: to be looking?

    Quote Originally Posted by ongshang View Post
    I really appreciate your help, Raymott. Just last question. What topic shall I look for regarding this structure in a grammar book? (I mean under tenses, gerund, etc.)

    Thanks.
    ong
    Well, you already know the grammar: to be + present participle.
    I doubt there'd be a section in most grammar books just for that.
    Why not do a Google search for common verbs with this construction,
    such as "to be going", and see if you understand the usage in each case.
    I can't think of any easy rules about its usage.


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    #7

    re: to be looking?

    Thanks again. Raymott. Will try your way. By the way, another very helpful member from BBC.Com website just sent me a message saying that

    "we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking" is a "adjective + present participle" form. I am not quite sure about it. Will look it up as well.

    This morning (I am in Malaysia, now is midnight). read from cambridge Grammar book and found some information about this patern but not much.

    1) be suppose to be + -ing (verb)
    * I'd better hurry. It's nearly 8 o'clock and I'm supposed to be meeting Ann at 8.15. (It didn't explain why -ing is used here.)

    2) Linking verb : to be + -ing (verb)
    It seems to be growing rapidly. (Again, it just said that "we include to be before -ing form" and didn't explain why.)

    Do native speakers use the structure a lot?

    Regards,
    ong


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    #8

    re: to be looking?

    This structure is called 'the continuous infinitive'.
    e.g. You seem to be reading my mind.

    It normally indicates an action in its progress at the moment of speaking or lays emphasis on the temporary character of an action.
    Cf.: You seem to read a lot. (a simple infinitive indicating a permanent characteristic)
    You seem to be reading a lot these days. (a continuous infinitive indicating a temporary characteristic)
    You are laughing. You seem to be reading a funny story. ( a continuous infinitive indicating an action in progress at the moment of speaking).

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    #9

    Re: to be looking?

    Onshang, Clark and Raymott have given you some good advice.



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    #10

    Re: to be looking?

    Hi Ronbee, I know. I really appreciate their helps. Thanks Clark. I googled "the continuous infinitive" and found something that I am looking for. Finally. So, what can I say. Thank you, thank you thank you (including you Raymott).

    ong

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