Semantics of Complement Clause as Direct Object of Verb (Part 5 of 7)
5 minute read Non-finite Gerund Clause as Verb Complement Gerunds describe activity or action which is not prospective or potential to happen unlike Infinitives which describe prospective potential action. These activities/actions can refer to events in past, present or future or just any activity without any time reference which can be certain or real or imaginary or probable but not prospective. Non-finite gerund clause can have: (a) same subject as main verb (admit, enjoy, imagine) (b) no subject or dummy subject (suggest, recommend, entail) (c) possessive adjective or object of main verb (tolerate, resent, appreciate, defend) (d) object of main verb not as an agent of not a prospective action but of a probable or certain action (accuse of/allege of/ prevent from) Gerund #1: Verbs complemented by gerund can be about starting (begin, start) a continuing activity or continuing (continue, keep) an activity or discontinuing (cease, discontinue, give up, neglect, prohibit, stop) an ongoing activity or continuing simultaneously as the activity continues (enjoy, involve, practice, tolerate) or barring/facilitating a future activity (allow, disallow, prevent from) or barring an activity (forbid, prohibit) began singing; began playing chess since age of six; she starts meditating at 5 in the morning every day; ceased/stopped providing free meal; leopards ceased existing in India after that last kill; finished working; given up smoking; kept nagging; neglects practising; this restaurant prohibits wasting food Note: 1) Verb ‘begin’ prospects an event and hence it can be followed by ‘to-infinitive’ and it also prospects an event which continues into future as an activity and hence it can also be followed by ‘gerund’. However ‘finish’ can only finish a continuing event/activity but cannot prospect an event and therefore can be followed only by a gerund and not an infinitive. 2) While ‘began to jump’ is incorrect ‘began jumping’ is correct describing repetitive action. Similarly ‘began reading’ and ’began to read’ is also correct. 3) Difference between ‘start’ and ‘begin’ is that ‘start’ is used for events with an end, whereas ‘begin’ is used for activity for which end is irrelevant Gerund#2: Verbs complemented by an activity or an action which is not prospective or potential and having subjects same for both main clause and non-finite clause a) Verbs complemented by activity without any time reference: can’t help laughing/thinking; people do not mind standing in the long queue; Due to amnesia, he sometimes forgets brushing teeth and brushes teeth again; despises compromising with principles for undue favours; resented paying more than fair price; she doesn’t enjoy eating with knife, fork and spoon b) Verbs for future action: looking forward to watching him on TV; try switching off and on; we discussed reviving and restoring the arid degraded land; considering applying for review petition; delayed/ postponed submitting report by a week; had anticipated getting stuck in traffic; c) Verbs for past action: regrets rejecting the offer; avoided talking to the press; risked losing it all; I miss playing indoor games in the evening; She accused/alleged him of stealing data from ..; He denies manipulating data; He denies/denied having manipulated data; he forgot brushing teeth and brushed again Note:
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