Indefinite Gerund to express previous actions

Nonverbis

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In a textbook I've read that after some verbs Indefinite Gerund is often used to express previous actions instead of Perfect Gerund.

Examples: remember, punish, mention.

I remember reading about it in a newspaper (instead of having read).

I consulted some dictionaries in the hope of finding any hints whether a verb can be used with Indefinite Gerund for a prefious action. But I failed. Do I understand correctly that if a verb unambiguously implies that something was done in the past, then one should use Indefinite Gerund. But this is just my explanation, I have not read it in a textbook.

Could you speculate on this subject? And give me more examples of such verbs?
 

jutfrank

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In a textbook I've read that after some verbs Indefinite Gerund is often used to express previous actions instead of Perfect Gerund.

Help us understand what you're asking by telling us more about what the book said.

Examples: remember, punish, mention.

The verb remember has within its meaning the idea of memory, and memory can only relate to past actions, so remember + -ing necessarily relates to past actions. That's not the case with punish or mention.

He mentioned quitting his job.

We don't know whether quitting his job is in the past, present or future. We need context to understand the meaning.
 

Nonverbis

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Well, I may be unable to add something to what I already mentioned. There were small footnotes in a textbook next to these verbs, which stated that in this case the action denoted by the gerund relates to a previous action and we can use both Perfect Gerund and Indefinite Gerund.

In these examples:

The boy was punished for breaking the window (or having broken the window).
The soldier was rewarded for saving (or having saved) the life of his comrades.
He mentioned reading (or having read) it in the paper.
 

jutfrank

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I see. Yes, you can only be punished for something that you have done prior to the punishment. The same goes for being rewarded for something.

However, mentioned is different, as shown in my example in post #2, which could be taken to be referring to the future. Using the perfect gerund is a way to make it clear that the act is in the past.
 
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