Gerund

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justjust
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:49 pm

Gerund

Post by justjust » Wed May 21, 2014 8:41 am

Hello everybody :)
I just wanted to confirm the following.
'I am going swimming'
Swimming is the gerund in this example and it is acting as the direct object right ?

Thanks !

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3030
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Fri May 23, 2014 1:24 am

Hello again JJ! :)

'Go' isn't transitive (right?) so I don't see how there can be a direct object in any analysis. What you're looking at here is a catenative construction, that is, a catenative verb ('go', or in this context, its present progressive form 'am going') followed by a catenative complement (swimming). (Systemic-)Functional grammars such as those from COBUILD then have the concept of phase ('the meaning relationship between, and structure formed by, a catenative verb and the following verb' - Chalker & Weiner's Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (but not the new edition edited by Bas Aarts, which has removed all the phonetics entries and added a lot of syntactic stodge)).

If your example was something such as I like going swimming (...) then I could perhaps see the point of considering concepts such as gerund (nowadays subsumed by '-ing form' or 'gerund-participle' in most ELT grammars), object etc.

In my topsy-turvy wanna-simplify thinking I sometimes wish even clear participles were simply viewed as gerunds - I am: literally that thing or activity called 'going-swimming'. But that (or at least the hyphenation) is what the concept of phase achieves anyway, so my 'literally that thing called' addition isn't really needed LOL. I wonder if there are any grammars that view the 'swimming' there as some sort of adverbial?

Anyway, the grammars that I consult for this sort of stuff are Chalker's Current English Grammar, and the Collins COBUILD English Grammar, and Collins COBUILD Grammar Patterns 1: Verbs. Unfortunately only the second title is still in print, but the Chalker (which I think you'd find very useful) should be available cheaply enough second-hand on Amazon, and you can get a reasonable idea of what was in the (now rare and quite expensive) Grammar Patterns from the cheap-enough accompanying workbook (Collins COBUILD Verbs: Patterns and Practice). The University of Birmingham used to have a free online version of the Grammar Patterns (in recognition of the fact that it was out of print but nevertheless an extremely useful publication), but the link ( http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/eda ... index.aspx > https://arts-ccr-002.bham.ac.uk/ccr/patgram/ hasn't been working for some time. :( Perhaps a reprint or new edition is in the works? :P

justjust
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:49 pm

Hello again ! :D

Post by justjust » Mon May 26, 2014 12:10 pm

Once again thank you ever so much for taking the time to reply.
You are right 'go' is an intransitive verb so swimming can't be the direct object and hence it is not the gerund. Thank you for enlightening me !

Grammar Patterns 1: Verbs can be found here

:wink:

http://arts-ccr-002.bham.ac.uk/ccr/patgram/

I think this is what you were referring to right ?

Thank you once again :)

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3030
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Mon May 26, 2014 4:56 pm

Ah, the -s of the https is what's causing the problem (i.e. your plain http: works fine, Justjust! Thanks LOL). You'd think the university would alter the URL for that link! (The old bookmark that I'd made began with https, and that as I say is what the university's link still is). Little things like that are easy to overlook, I'd just assumed the link was completely broken or the resource had been withdrawn. Good to know it's still around! :D

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