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This time, I'd like to introduce you to some personal friends of mine - the Royal X-ing Gerund family. Never heard of them? Well, this isn't surprising because in our democratic ages royal people try to travel unrecognised, sometimes even disguised as business men and women under the name of "-Ing Form". There are even some people of the Verbal Adjective Class that try to imitate them by taking on their outfit (a tail of -ing). Those "Present Participles" can define somebody or something but they don't have the power and the reflecting appearance of the X-ing Gerunds . However, even Infinitives may disguise as nobles functioning as a subject, direct object, subject complement in a sentence. Although an infinitive is easy to discover because of the to + verb-forms.
1. Deciding what function X-ing Gerunds have in a sentence can sometimes be confusing. But every real G.R.Amarian can distinguish these nobles ruling nearly every sentence wherever they are seen. And I lay claim to the fact that there is no other member of all parts of speech that has got such a wide range of functions and as much influence on our daily talks and writings as the X-ing Gerunds.
Let's have a closer look at those different functions:
First of all there is the nominal X-ing
Gerund first class. It has lost all signs of its origin from
a verb. but has taken on all the signs of the ruling nouns. i.e.
|plural -s, numerals||buildings, two ~|
|articles||a building, the buildings,|
|of genitives||the buildings of Central London|
|possessive pronouns||his buildings|
|demonstrative pronouns||those buildings|
|adjectives||those cheap buildings|
I'm sure you can identify some more like suffering, and longing for a meeting at a hiding-place.
Gerund "- member leads to another aspect of this fascinating family:
Some X-ing Gerunds have married rich men and women from the street and show their predominance in the marriage by keeping a hyphen and the first and main stress when they go out together:
Things/Persons used for an activity
Things/Persons that are doing something.
|swimming-pool||['............ , ......]||swimming restaurant||['............ ' ......]|
|running-shoes||['............ , ......]||running comentary||['............ ' ......]|
|running-dresses||['............ , ......]||running water||['............ ' ......]|
|sleeping-car||['............ , ......]||sleeping child||['............ ' ......]|
|dancing-teacher||['............ , ......]||dancing bear||['............ ' ......]|
other royal people of X-ing Gerunds are
nouns that are used as
|a subject||Parting is such sweet sorrow.|
|a complement||Seeing is believing.|
|an object||He enjoyed sailing.|
|a prepositional complement to|
forward to seeingX-ing G..
I'm interested in meeting royal people.
But there is the difficulty in getting an interview.
|tied to an object||I enjoyed reading a book about X-ing G.|
|connected to an adverb||I couldn't help laughing heartily.|
4. Forms: X-ing
Gerund often comes alone but sometimes likes being accompanied
(although the first to come is still a present X-ing)
" Old Sir Gerund entered the room without seeing1me or being seen2}3
and left without having seen1 me or having been seen2}4."
The difference may have serious consequences if you have a look at the following situations:
The bank-robber entered the bank without the policeman seeing
The bank-robber entered the bank without seeing the policeman.
6. Some people think and say that the roots of the Gerund family must be in Scotland because you can save a lot of breath by using prepositions together with gerunds for shortening even complete sentences to a short phrase. I for one assert that this statement is a prejudice that can't stand an objective assessing though the examples are worth being looked at:
Gerund spends a lot of money.
By working for an international firm he earns a lot of money.
Instead of saving his earnings he buys one Rolls Royce after the other.
I want to thank him for telling me these details.
Before giving me this interview nobody knew anything about his activities.
After hearing so much about the X-ing Gerund family you are experts on Gerunds now.
What about writing an article for "Who's who" ?
you want to have a look at the waiting-list of common people who want to
shake hands with X-ing Gerund . Don't be afraid
of finding so many.
keep (on) mention
7b. Some of these commons are not loyal. Those verbs can go with Gerund or Infinitive objects with little or no difference in meaning:
|propose||(can't) stand / can't bear|
7c. Some of these commons still are not loyal: They go steady with Gerund or Infinitive objects, but with a difference in meaning:
then there is mental activity)
|attempt; try||Have you ever
tried writing the test without any mistakes?
Make an experiment, hoping for success.
|He tried to do
it without mistakes.
Make an effort, hoping to do it
posting the letter.
Do it, then have a mental lapse
|He forgot to post
Have a mental lapse, and therefore not do it .
|regret||I regret telling
him the truth.
Do it, then feel bad.
|I regret to tell
him the truth.
Feel bad, but then do it.
Do it, then be aware of it
|Remember to post
Think about it, and then do it.
7d. Go and X-ing Gerund are good friends.
This combination is usually used in
many expressions related to recreational activities and shopping. For example:
go boating, go canoeing, go fishing, go sailing, go camping, go hunting, go skating, go shopping, go skiing, go sightseeing, etc.
are other relations that are rather firm like the preposition + Gerund
|Prepositional verb +||Gerund *(see list)|
|He apologised for||coming late.|
|I can't approve of|
|Adjective + preposition +||Gerund *(see list)|
|She is pleased with getting a letter.||erfreut über|
|He is good at playing the guitar.||gut in|
|Prepositional noun +||Gerund *(see list)|
|What's the advantage of||eating meat?|
|I have a little difficulty with||filling in this form|
|Phrase +||Gerund *(see list)|
|It's no use||eating vitamine pills.|
|It's worth||filling in this form.|
But now I must stop writing (in order) to do some important things. So much for today. Perhaps you want to practise your knowledge about X-ing Gerund a bit?
All you have to do is CLICK here.
Yours Klaus F. Maas
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