[Grammar] The gerund vs The infinitive

Status
Not open for further replies.

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
It makes me feel nervous talking about this.
It makes me feel nervous to talk about this.



Which one is the right one?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

They're OK, though I would reverse the order of the first.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

I think he means 'Talking about this makes me feel nervous', where 'Talking' is a gerund rather than a participle.

I forgot to say 'Welcome' to the OP, my fellow Hongkonger.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

I think he means 'Talking about this makes me feel nervous', where 'Talking' is a gerund rather than a participle.

I did.
 

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive


OK! I changed the title.

So, I want to know, are both these two sentences equally common and idiomatic ?
 
Last edited:

GoesStation

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

The first needs an em-dash after nervous. It could be heard sometimes, but the second is more natural.
 

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

The first needs an em-dash after nervous. It could be heard sometimes, but the second is more natural.

Or maybe a comma? Like "It makes me feel nervous, talking about this." , does it work?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Talking about this makes me nervous works much better for me.
 

GoesStation

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Or maybe a comma? Like "It makes me feel nervous, talking about this." , does it work?
Not really, though it would not be surprising to see that in casual writing. You need a dash because the speaker is interrupting the sentence with a new thought.
 

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Talking about this makes me nervous works much better for me.

So basically you are saying "It makes me feel nervous talking about this." works much better for you, too ?
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

If I understand correctly, your version is much worse than his version.
 

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

If I understand correctly, your version is much worse than his version.


That's what you think? Tdol ?

Thank you
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Can a teacher confirm/correct post #12, which the OP was asking about?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Can a teacher confirm/correct post #12, which the OP was asking about?

You wrote post #12 yourself, Matthew. Why are we waiting for Tdol to comment?
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

According to post #13, it was the OP rather than Matthew who wanted a comment from Tdol, which was emphasized in boldface there.
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

I do my best to avoid trying to explain the words of others. It would be better to wait until Tdol has the opportunity to comment.
Why did you say "the opportunity"? why didn't you say "an opportunity"? Please.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

Dio2: I note that you've reported the first post in this thread as "unanswered". We ask members to please be patient and wait for a reply(s) to their questions. In any case, I see that this thread has had several replies, so why do you feel it's still unanswered?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

So basically you are saying "It makes me feel nervous talking about this." works much better for you, too ?

No- I am suggesting that changing the order of the sentence makes it sound more natural.

And please don't wait for me- there are many people here who can reply for me. I was in a remote mountainous area without much internet yesterday. :up:
 

dio2

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Re: The participle vs The infinitive

So, "It makes me feel nervous to talk about this." and "Talking about this makes me nervous." are more common and idiomatic.

Also, "It makes me feel nervous talking about this." needs a dash but it still means different from "It makes me feel nervous to talk about this." and "Talking about this makes me nervous.".

This sentence, "It makes me feel nervous talking about this." is not a normal sentence because the speaker suddenly feels that the conversation makes him nervous, the whole sentence is not natural.


Is there anything wrong above? Thanks
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top