[Grammar] After lunch, I lay on the beach, sunbathing

Sarah-Betty

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Armenian
Home Country
Armenia
Current Location
Iran
Are these two sentence equivalent?

1:After lunch, I lay on the beach, sunbathing to get a nice suntan. At the same time, I enjoyed feeling the warm, brilliant sunshine and feeling the gentle wind in my hair.

2:After lunch, I lay on the beach and I sunbathe to get a nice suntan. At the same time, I enjoyed feeling the warm, brilliant sunshine and feeling the gentle wind in my hair.


I don't know why a teacher used the -ing form of the verb in the first sentence. I wrote the second sentence myself.
 

yi-ing

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Tamil
Home Country
Singapore
Current Location
Singapore
Are the following correct too? I think because we have continuous actions, we should use the -ing form the verb "lie". Am I correct? Continuous verbs in English are confusing. I don't know where they should be used.

After lunch, I was lying on the beach sunbathing to get a nice suntan.
After lunch, I was lying on the beach and was sunbathing to get a nice suntan.
 
Last edited:

PaulMatthews

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Great Britain
Current Location
Great Britain
Are the following correct too? I think because we have continuous actions, we should use the -ing form the verb "lie". Am I correct? Continuous verbs in English are confusing. I don't know where they should be used.

[1] After lunch, I was lying on the beach sunbathing to get a nice suntan.
[2] After lunch, I was lying on the beach and was sunbathing to get a nice suntan.


Yes: they are correct and have the same meaning, but the depictive adjunct "sunbathing to get a nice suntan" in [1] is simpler and more natural than the lengthier verb phrase in [2]. It's called a depictive adjunct because it gives descriptive information about a subject or object -- in this case the subject "you" -- and is an optional item in clause structure.

The adjunct in [1] is interpreted with progressive (continuous) aspectuality, but note that it belongs to the semantic category of aspectuality, not the syntactic category of aspect that "was sunbathing" in [2] does.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
I was lying on the beach sunbathing to get a nice suntan.
I take it to mean 'I was lying on the beach, thus sunbathing to get a nice suntan', so I would put a comma after 'beach'.

The adjunct in [1] is interpreted with progressive (continuous) aspectuality, but note that it belongs to the semantic category of aspectuality
This learner does not understand what you are talking about.
The adjunct in [1] just looks like a participial phrase modifying the subject 'I'.
 

PaulMatthews

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Great Britain
Current Location
Great Britain
I take it to mean 'I was lying on the beach, thus sunbathing to get a nice suntan', so I would put a comma after 'beach'.

Lying on the beach may well result in one getting a suntan, but it is does not necessarily entail it. Compare "Liz was lying on the beach reading a book". This does not mean that Liz was lying on the beach thus reading a book. Reading a book is not an entailment of lying on the beach, but a contemporaneous action, best analysed as a depictive adjunct giving descriptive information about Liz.


This learner does not understand what you are talking about.

The difference between the semantic category of aspectuality and the syntactic category of aspect is this: aspectuality describes those expressions which merely imply progressive actions, while aspect occurs in verb phrases where the verb "be" combines with a gerund-participle (an ing form) to form the 'progressive aspect', as in the OP's second example "... was sunbathing ...".

The adjunct in [1] just looks like a participial phrase modifying the subject 'I'.

The adjunct here is not a phrase, but a gerund-participial clause. And it is not a modifier of the subject noun phrase "I", but a modifier in clause structure, similar to a predicative adjunct: compare "They left empty-handed", where the underlined element is related the subject "they", and thus predicative, but it does not modify it; rather, it is an adjunct in clause structure, i.e. a modifier in the verb phrase.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
compare "They left empty-handed", where the underlined element is related the subject "they", and thus predicative, but it does not modify it
'Empty-handed' is an adjective. If it does not modify the subject, what else does it modify? The verb 'left'?
 
Top