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the -ing form after "go on"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by yakor, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hi,
    Could you tell me please which function the -ing form has after the verb "go on"? And why?
    He went on swimming on the river.
    He went on reading his book.
     
  2. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    Hi fellow countryman:), I guess go on has the same meaning as "to continue", so "He went on swimming in the river" means "He continued swimming" and the same for the second sentence:). If I'm not mistaken...
     
  3. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hi, I know the meaning. My question is not about the meaning.
     
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    abda, you are not mistaken. In the examples, swimming and reading are participles; they describe the actual action, not the concept of the action or the action in general.

    "Reading will improve your vocabulary." reading is a gerund - it is the concept of reading - reading in general.
    "Swimming will keep you fit." swimming is a gerund - it is the concept of swimming - swimming in general.

    PS
    He went on swimming
    on the river.:cross: "He went on swimming in the river" :tick:
     
  5. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    So PaulQ, is it right that in "I like swimming" 'swimming' is a gerund? And in "I saw talking parrots" 'talking' is a participle? And this is how to distinguish them? I mean Gerund is like a noun and participle is an adjective, right? I guess that's what Yakor wanted, to know how to distinguish gerunds from participles and verbal nouns.
     
  6. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I agree with PaulQ that 'reading' is a participle here. You can see why in the following example.

    John was reading his book. There was a loud bang but John was unperturbed. He went on reading his book.
     
  7. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    Okay, I found that out myself. It turned out to be really easy... So gerund is used instead of noun and contains a verb stem + ing, participle either contains of a verb stem + ing but acts like an adjective, not a noun, and verbal noun is the same as gerund, but gerunds don't need an article, they can't be defined by adjectives, but can be defined by adverbs, gerunds are singular, can't be plural, they can have a direct object. And vice versa, Verbal nouns DO need an article, they Can be defined by adjectives, but CAN'T be defined by adverbs, they CAN be both plural or singular, they CAN't have a direct object. That's all I found out. As always, if I'm wrong, correct me:).
     
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Yes it acts as a noun, it is something that you like, e.g. "I like ice-cream."
    no, here "talking" is an adjective derived from the participle. "I heard a parrot talking in the tree." - talking is a participle.
    A gerund is a participle acting as a noun, a participle may also be an adjective (see the parrot), or just a participle, "Having climbed down the tree, I looked around."
     
  9. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    Examples of Gerunds:
    I love playing football.
    Going there was a good idea!
    I saw his jumping off the roof!(if we say I saw hiM jumping off the roof, jumping turns to participle)
    Examples of Participles:
    I saw you talking to him!
    I won't stop crashing his car!
    Examples of Verbal nouns:
    The building is beautiful.
    His acting of the part of Othello was distinguished by a breadth and grandeur that placed it far beyond the efforts of other actors.
    The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
     
  10. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    Exactly! How could I forget that... In "Shooting star" shooting is an adjective but if we say "look at the star shooting in the sky" it turns into a participle. If I'm not mistaken... However the shooting star example was really awful... Sorry, I don't have imagination at all.:D But what I wanted to say was that if a participle is specified, I mean like you wrote "talking in the tree", then it is a participle, if not, then it is an adjective derived from the participle. Of course except "I saw him jumping" and sentences like that.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  11. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    Just to pick up one of the previous points. In English the adjective usually comes before the noun. There is a difference between

    "I observed some talking parrots" (I observed some parrots that had all been taught to speak. However it is quite possible that they were completely silent at the time I observed them)

    and

    "I observed some parrots talking" (I observed some parrots and they were in the act of producing speech as I observed them)

    In fact, now that I think about it, the following is a valid sentence:

    "I observed some talking parrots talking" (The first 'talking' describes the type of parrot and the second 'talking' describes what they were doing when I observed them.)
     
  12. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    I understand the idea that "swimming" and "reading" behave like participles (they describe the action) in he went on swimming, and he went on reading. Yet "swimming" and "reading" have a syntactic relationship with "went on;" they complete the meaning of the phrasal verb, and as such "swimming" and "reading" function just like nouns that complete the meaning of transitive verbs. In other words, "swimming" and "reading" behave like gerunds as well. That also happens when we give "reading" a complement: he went on reading the book. For that reason, many do away with the terms "gerunds" and "participles" and prefer either "-ing forms" or "gerund-participle." It makes more sense to call an "-ing" word a gerund when it is marked syntactically as such by a determiner (the swimming competition; a reading of the will) and a participle when, for example, it marks the present progressive aspect (he is swimming) or when it functions like an adjective (talking parrot).
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  13. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Thanks for your answer.
    But I prefer to call the -ing form according to its function. When I saw "go on reading the book" I think about "reading" as the participle. It is not the gerund (the participle with the function of the noun). You couldn't say "go on your reading the book". (before a gerund as before a noun you could put the determiner "your")
    So, "reading" acts as an pure participle, a pure participle following after the verb either the part of the compound verb or it acts like the adjective after the linking verb. There is no such a verb like "go on"+"participle", so "go on" is a linking verb and "reading" is adjective after it.
     
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I just wanted to say ... I agree wholeheartedly with SevenDays:).
     
  15. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    I agree with your all examples except this one.
    It's is the gerund.
    You could say,"I won't stop my crashing his car".
    "Stop" could be a transitive verb. If one wanted to say that "crashing" is an participle, one should put comma after "stop".

    I won't stop, crashing his car! (I won't stop, being crashing his car! I won't stop, while crashing his car!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  16. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    It is because you are a native English speaker. If you knew Russian you would understand me why it is not acceptable to consider a gerund as an participle.
     
  17. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Sadly, my Russian is rudimentary.

    But I still agree with SevenDays:).
     
  18. abda2405 Senior Member

    Russian
    Indeed, you're right about crashing his car, I must have hurried. As PaulQ has mentioned in "I went on reading", Reading is a participle that acts as an adjective, as it's derived from the verb read. I guess it can't be an adjective, because adjectives describe a noun, reading doesn't describe I, it's just my opinion... Just think, if in "I went on reading" reading is an adjective, then we can replace it with another adjective, let's try: "I went on beautiful".No... Apparently, reading isn't an adjective...
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  19. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    But they don't say I'm wrong. Also I agree with them in...
    " It makes more sense to call an "-ing" word a gerund when it is marked syntactically as such by a determiner (the swimming competition; a reading of the will) and a participle when, for example, it marks the present progressive aspect (he is swimming) or when it functions like an adjective (talking parrot).
    "swimming" is a gerund here, not the participle in the function of adjective, because it acts here like the noun in the function of adjective. (the competition of swimming)
    But I disagree that ing form in "go on walking" is a gerung. The adjectives,also, "complete" the link verbs. (get red, become green)
    (a reading is the verbal noun, not the gerund)
     
  20. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I'm not sure what your point is precisely.

    1. I won't stop crashing his car! :tick: is a valid sentence but, as you say, 'crashing' is not a gerund in this case.

    2. I won't stop my crashing his car. :cross: Theoretically you could say "I won't stop my crashing of his car" although it would be a very odd way of putting it.

    3. I won't stop, being crashing his car! :cross:

    EDIT

    I won't stop crashing his car! means "I won't desist from crashing his car [every time that I drive it]"
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  21. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    In Spanish and Latin, for example, gerunds and participles are easily identified because they are morphologically marked as such (-ndo, -ante, -um, -ntis, etc.). In English, however, "gerunds" and "participles" are identical ("-ing), so the idea, according to traditional grammar, is that they are identified by their function within a sentence:
    (a) reading books is fun; "reading" is a gerund because it functions as subject. We can substitute the subject with a pronoun: that is fun.
    (b) reading books, he always falls asleep; "reading" is a participle because it modifies the subject "he;" the participle "reading" can't be replaced by a pronoun: that, he always falls asleep (???).
    But that's not the end of the story. Sentences have internal structure, where words have a relationship ("function") with each other; (a) and (b) have internal structure; (a) has a subject, and (b) an adjunct. The subject in (a) and the adjunct in (b) have the same form: reading books. Is "reading" in the subject "reading books" a gerund or a participle? Is "reading" in the adjunct "reading books" a gerund or a participle? We can't tell because they look the same. It wouldn't make sense to say that "reading" isn't a gerund or a participle in its own structure but becomes one or the other only when we look at the sentence in its totality. And it doesn't make syntactic sense to say that the sentence as a whole determines the form of words in internal structures. In other words, just because "reading" functions as a gerund in the sentence doesn't mean that "reading" is also a gerund in the internal subject structure "reading books." Call 'reading" the "-ing" form of the verb "read," or a "gerund-participle," and you don't face that problem.
    Of course, not everyone agrees.
    Cheers
     
  22. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Even so, it is not clear what this sentence mean.
    Also, as far as I know "Stop+ing form"="the transitive verb+the direct object".
    Stop talking (gerund)
    Stop crying (gerund)
    Sevendays says that "swimming" and "reading" behave like gerunds as well. (he went on reading the book. He went on swimming)
    But in this case I disagree with it. "swimming" describes "he". It is not the direct object of "went on".
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  23. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    It seems that you ask not my question at all. Who argues that English gerund has the same form as participle? They are different only in the meaning in the different sentences.
    The gerund is the participle in the function of a noun.
    Many verbs are able to take the gerund as the direct object. Among them there is "stop".
    "ing" form after "stop" acts as the object. Being the object is the noun function. So, it is a gerund.
    To discontinue or cease: He stopped his complaining.
     
  24. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    "I won't stop crashing his car!" isn't a very helpful example, because it seems like "crashing his car" is an action that can only be done once (or at least a very limited number of times), and "I won't stop" implies that there will be more occasions to perform this action than just one or two. A better example might be "[No matter how many times I get my heart broken,] I won't stop believing in love."

    Yakor, in some languages gerunds and participles are very strongly differentiated. This is not necessarily the case in English, which is why many people prefer to refer to the "-ing" form of a verb as the "gerund-participle." (Obviously, the "-ed" form - the "past participle" - is much more distinct from the gerund.)

    SevenDays's advice is, in my opinion, very good. There are many situations in English where the difference between "gerund" and "participle" is really just a matter of personal preference. For instance, it's much clearer to say that the continuous verb aspect is formed with the verb "to be" and the gerund-participle. In a sentence like "I'm growing turnips right now," it hardly makes sense to think that "growing turnips" is an adjectival phrase linked to "I" by the copula. It's much more helpful to think of "am growing" as a compound tense formed with "to be" and the gerund-participle.

    I think the same thing applies to other compound verbs like "go on X-ing," "stop X-ing," etc. Is X-ing really the object of "go on" or "stop"? I don't think of it that way. Instead, the semantic unit is the whole verbal phrase.

    SevenDays also points out that there are situations where the -ing form is clearly used as either a noun or an adjective; in those situations we can clearly differentiate "gerund" and "participle." In "go on singing" or "keep singing," I don't know if that absolute differentiation is possible.
     
  25. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    But you yourself don't know it for sure as in the case of "be", where -ing form could form the continue tenses with "be". There is no such forms of verbs as "go +ing form" "go on +ing" "stop+ing".
    -Ing plays whether the adjectival funcion ot the noun function. It is whether the adjective with the linking verb or the noun after the transitive verb. (note, the verb "be" never couldn't be the transitive. That is why one deals with the continious form of the verb or the linking verb + adjective (noun))
    "stop". "continue" could be transitive, so the verb phrases "stop talking" "continue talking" couldn't be one whole verb as " be doing something".
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  26. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    If a teacher says to a class "Stop talking!" this is not a gerund. It is equivalent to "You are talking - Stop!"

    If the teacher wanted to use a gerund then he or she would have to say "Stop the talking!"

    A deliberately ambiguous example

    The teacher stopped talking in class.

    Participle meaning: The teacher became silent and did not continue talking to the class.

    Gerund meaning: The teacher prevented the students from talking in class.

    In the first case the teacher was talking (present continuous) and stopped.
    In the second case the teacher put a stop to the activity of talking (gerund) that the students were performing.

    I hope that this ambiguous example will show you the difference clearly. Because of the ambiguity we can only know which is intended by being given context.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  27. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    "The talking is not the gerund. It is the verbal noun. (The talking (conversation) of two boys) Sometimes "stop" is used with the noun too. But sometimes with the gerund, that is continious form of the verb. Yes they were talking. (talking is the participle here, the part of the compound verb "were talking")"Stop talking! " means "stop the process of talking (talking, other words, in short) or "become silent!" It meams the same. One could the same by different phrases.
    Also, I agree when a verb ( or a phrasal verb)could be used as a transitive and intransitive verb, the -ing form (or a participle phrase) could have the adjectival function and the function of the noun, being the object (object phrase) of the verb. I'm not confused with it. But when we deal with an intransitive verb (phrasal verb) we can't concider that the -ing form is the object (gerund)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  28. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    I think you're confused, yakor. The word "talking" in "Stop the talking!" is most definitely a gerund.

    A gerund is a verbal noun; in English, it's expressed by adding the "ing" ending to a verb stem.

    A participle is a verbal adjective; in English, the present participle is also formed with the "ing" ending (the past participle, however, is formed with the "ed" ending).

    The continuous form of the verb is neither a gerund or a participle. It is formed with the verb "to be" and the "ing" form of the main verb.

    Basically, in English gerunds, present participles, and the "ing" form used to form the continuous tense are all written the same, so they all look and sound the same; however, they are different.

    That being said, often it's hard to tell whether an "ing" form is strictly a gerund or a participle. I think phrases like "They continued dancing" are good examples of this. I think it's easier to say that "to continue dancing" is an inflected form of the verb "to dance" formed from a auxiliary verb "to continue" and the gerund-participle.
     
  29. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't understand your point here, yakor:(.

    Are you saying that we should see the ING-form in "go on talking" as something different from the ING-form in "continue talking" because "go on" is a phrasal verb?
     
  30. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    It is you are confused. The part speech that is called "gerund " is used without any article. If an article is put before the gerund then it is the verbal noun. Gerund takes the direct object, the noun not. You woudn't say,"stop the writing the letter".

    No, a gerund is the participle in the function of the noun.
     
  31. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    OK, you're right: "talking" in "stop the talking" is sometimes called the "pure" verbal noun.

    That being said, gerunds are one kind of verbal noun, among others. From wikipedia:
    A gerund is never the participle (although they can be spelled the same). Unless now you're agreeing that the term "gerund-participle" is more helpful than either "gerund" or "participle"...
     
  32. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    If it is not the gerund (the participle in the function of the object) then it is the participle in the function of the subject complement (as an adjective)?
     

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