[Grammar] judging and considering are prepositions now?

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LiuJing

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Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president.------

How about:

Judged from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president.

I think the first sentence sounds better. But grammatically speaking, if [judging] is a present participle, the sentence has made a mistake of dangling modifier. I asked my English teacher (a Chinese national) on this and she said that [judging ] is now considered a preposition, so the first line is correct.

Is that really so? Thank you.
 
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2006

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Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president.------

How about:

Judged from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president. also correct

I think the first sentence sounds better. But grammatically speaking, if [judging] is a present participle, "Judging" is a verb. the sentence has mde a mistake of dangling modifier. I asked my English teacher (a Chinese national) on this and she said that [judging ] is now considered a preposition, Do you mean preposition or present participle?
so the first line is correct.

Is that really so? Thank you.
2006
 

LiuJing

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Both are good English?
 

LiuJing

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I think that judging and considering are not prepositions, rather they are gerunds which look like verbs but are used at the place of a noun. The sentences are correct to me.

But who does the job of judging? In this case, it is not Obama, the subject of the main clause. Grammatically, 'judged' is better. But my teacher said that since too many people use 'judging' now, it is deemed as correct English, and the grammarian has regarded it as a preposition so that it can be used regardless of what the subject is in the main clause.

Judging from what he did, I think he is a nice person.(I do the job of judging.)

Judging from what he did, Obama is a nice person. (It could mean Obama does the job of judging, which is probably not meant by the person who says that.)
 

TheParser

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But who does the job of judging? In this case, it is not Obama, the subject of the main clause. Grammatically, 'judged' is better. But my teacher said that since too many people use 'judging' now, it is deemed as correct English, and the grammarian has regarded it as a preposition so that it can be used regardless of what the subject is in the main clause.

Judging from what he did, I think he is a nice person.(I do the job of judging.)

Judging from what he did, Obama is a nice person. (It could mean Obama does the job of judging, which is probably not meant by the person who says that.)

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, LiuJing.

(1) Yes, I believe that your teacher is correct:

Nowadays some of those so-called dangling participles

(such as "judging" ) are, indeed, considered "prepositions."

(2) By the way, I found the Style Guide of The Times newspaper

(London) online. As you know every important newspaper has a guide,

which is a book that tells its reporters how to write correctly.

(a) The Times is very strict. Here are its three examples:

Good > TO JUDGE from the film, the country is in a mess.





Good > JUDGING by the film, WE can conclude that the country is in a mess.

Bad> JUDGING by the film, the country is in a mess.

(The Times did NOT use the words "good" and "bad." That's only my idea.)

(a) As you can see, The Times does not like the last example because

it is dangling. That is, there is no noun for "judging." Of course, the

"country" is not judging. But the second sentence is "good" English.

And the infinitive in the first sentence is also fine. I believe, however,

that many people would easily accept the third sentence and just call

it a preposition. Nevertheless, if you wish to do university-level writing,

you might consider following the advice of The Times, which -- as you

know -- used to be the most powerful newspaper in the world.

***** Thank you *****


P. S. I have just checked my copy of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (Mr. Bryan A. Garner), which many writers use. He agrees that participles such as "judging" are "acceptable danglers" that comment on the following information.

His example:

CONSIDERING how hated [I have deleted the man's name] was, it is incredible that another owner would want him as a head coach.

In other words, "Considering how hated Mr. X was" is a comment on

"It is incredible that another owner would want him as a head coach."
 

2006

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If "Judging" is a preposition, what is "from"?
 

Barb_D

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From the strictest interpretation, it is a dangling modifier. Mr. Obama is not the one judging.

But to call "judging" a preposition is nuts.
 

2006

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But who does the job of judging? In this case, it is not Obama, the subject of the main clause. Grammatically, 'judged' is better. But my teacher said that since too many people use 'judging' now, it is deemed as correct English, and the grammarian has regarded it as a preposition so that it can be used regardless of what the subject is in the main clause.

Judging from what he did, I think he is a nice person.(I do the job of judging.)

Judging from what he did, Obama is a nice person. (It could mean Obama does the job of judging, which is probably not meant by the person who says that.)
I would call this an ellipsis rather than a dangling participle.

Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, (people think) he is not a good president.

(People) judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, (think) he is not a good president.


If it is a dangling participle, it certainly doesn't have the bite of a dangling participle like 'While walking down the street, the rain suddenly started.'
 

bertietheblue

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I'm going to stick my neck out and say, without much confidence, that 'judging from ...' is a complex adverbial preposition modifying an understood and so absent verb ('think' or similar). Right or wrong?
 

Barb_D

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Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, (people think) he is not a good president.


That's certainly the way I would understand it. I tend not to even notice the ghastly dangling participle or misplaced modifiers unless they are funny.
 

TheParser

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If "Judging" is a preposition, what is "from"?

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Yes, 2006, you are correct:

The word "preposition" is not the best word to call "judging" in this sentence. We should admit that it is simply a dangling participle. We have no reason to be ashamed. I found that the eminent Danish-born grammarian Otto Jesperson many years ago called "judging from" a "perfectly legitimate" "unattached participle." In fact, he called it a "stock expression."

But what really sealed the case for me is what I found in Professor George O. Curme's A Grammar of the English Language (Vol. 2). He called it "an absolute participle." Writing in 1931, he felt it should not be labeled as a preposition.

Professor Curme gave a great quotation (with his explanation in parentheses):

Judging (= if one judged) from traces of the work, it had once held a large colony of beavers. (The writer was Theodore Roosevelt)

Therefore, I think that we can advise the person who posted the original question to:

(a) respectfully accept the teacher's opinion. It is not considered proper in some countries to disagree with the teacher.

(b) understand that this is simply a case of a dangling participle that is proper because there is no misunderstanding.

Thanks to the original poster and to 2006 for forcing me to find a satisfying answer.

P. S. "Considering" is another matter. But let's leave that for another day.
 

corum

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Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president.------
and she said that [judging ] is now considered a preposition, so the first line is correct.

There are three criteria for central prepositions. They cannot have as complement:

- an infinitive clause
- a nominal case of a personal pronoun
- a tensed clause

"Considering" is another matter. But let's leave that for another day.

Some -ing and -ed participle forms can function both as marginal prepositions (words that behave in many ways like prepositions, although they also have affinities with other word classes such as verbs or adjectives), as nonfinite verb forms, and as conjunctions, eg: considering:

MARGINAL PREPOSITION:
Considering his age, he has made excellent progress in his studies. (in view of his age)

PARTICIPLE:
Considering the conditions in the office, she thought it wise not to apply
for the job. (when she considered the conditions)

CONJUNCTION:
Considering that he is rather young, his parents have advised him not to
apply.

-----------

Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill, he is not a good president.

In view of the way Obama...
Judging from the way Obama

'Judging from' is a complex marginal preposition, IMO. 'Judging from the way Obama has been handling the Gulf oil spill,' is a viewpoint subjunct, an adverbial.
 
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asdf1234

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From the strictest interpretation, it is a dangling modifier. Mr. Obama is not the one judging.

But to call "judging" a preposition is nuts.

I agree 100%.
 

BobK

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That's certainly the way I would understand it. I tend not to even notice the ghastly dangling participle or misplaced modifiers unless they are funny.
:up:

I think the problem caused by the teacher's (and many respondents') use of 'preposition' is that they are talking about function. If you see this sort of 'Judging' as, in the words of TheParser's source, an 'acceptable dangler', then it is the beginning of a prepositional phrase in which everything else is implicit. In my book, that doesn't make it a preposition. But I can see why some commentators regard its function as prepositional. ;-)

b
 
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