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gerund with preposition or present participle

Discussion in 'English Only' started by lisboneagle, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. lisboneagle Junior Member

    Lisbon
    Portuguese
    Should I use a gerund with a preposition or a present participle?

    1) John killed Jack shooting him.
    2) John killed Jack by shooting him.
    I'm trying to say that Jack was killed (not wounded) as the result of the shot.

    3) Bob killed his horse riding it very fast.
    4) Bob killed his horse by riding it very fast.
    It should mean that Bob's horse died because he was riding it very fast.
    Can somebody understand sentence 3 in the silly way: "Bob rode his horse, got crazy and shot (stabbed) the poor animal"?
     
  2. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    You need to use the preposition "by". Strictly speaking, your sentence 3 should/could be interpreted in the "silly" way, but as it's so unlikely maybe nobody would come to that conclusion.
     
  3. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In your sentences, use the preposition.

    Without the preposition, the gerundial clause acts as a modifier usually. The rule is that it should be closest to the noun which it modifies, so it should be moved to the front:

    Shooting Jack, John killed him.

    Riding his horse very fast, Bob killed it.
     

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