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Lin's winning the 100m was incredible.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bonbon2023, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. bonbon2023

    bonbon2023 Senior Member

    Korean(south)
    Do you use "Lin's winning the 100m was incredible." as frequent as "For Lin to win the 100 was incredible.(It was incredible for Lin to wind the 100m.)"? The structure of the second is familiar. However I doubt if the structure like "Lin's winning the 100m was incredible." is frequent enough in real life to be perceived as a natural.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    The "Lin's winning..." structure is very natural and quite common. It is, however, probably more common in speech than in writing. At least it is for me.
     
  3. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    I would say that we use "Lin's winning the 100m was incredible" (and its much more common, conversational cousin "Lin winning the 100m was incredible") much more often than the wordier to-infinitive form, which sounds formal and possibly stilted in comparison.
     
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    In writing, no problem, but in speech we're probably much more likely to use 'it' as the subject and move the clause to the end.
     
  5. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, entangled.

    You don't mean "It's incredible Lin's winning the 100m" and"It's incredible Lin winning the 100m" , I imagine?GS
     
  6. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Sure, those are possible ways to say this naturally, but I would re-punctuate them:

    It's incredible, Lin's winning the 100m.
    It's incredible, Lin winning the 100m. ​(note commas)
     
  7. bonbon2023

    bonbon2023 Senior Member

    Korean(south)
    Thank you all for your validation.
    I understand "Lin's winning the 100m was incredible.(It was incredible Lin's winning the 100m.)" as the more colloquial and less formal expression than
    "For Lin to win the 100 was incredible.(It was incredible for Lin to wind the 100m.)"
     
  8. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Very interesting, Lucas. :)
    We do practically the same in my own mother tongue and I suspect in other languages as well.
    Obviously, though, this creates a new syntactic organization: a sentence (with its own intonation contour) followed by noun phrase (with a new intonation contour of its own) with an explanatory function. Technically, a dash (—), a colon :)) or even a full stop could substitute for the comma.
    It's interesting to note that the noun phrase is in reality a new sentence in disguise.

    Best.

    GS
     

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