Discussion in 'English Only' started by Garbuz, Dec 11, 2009.
I asked a man who was fishing where Bobby Watson lived.
Is it possible to say '... a fishing man'?
A fishermen would work better.
That is close, but it is not correct.
You may ask a "fisherman"
I asked a fisherman where Bobby Watson lived .
A fisherman asked me where he could buy some worms.
"Fisherman" would change the meaning from a man who is fishing to a man who is known for fishing.
"A fishing man" is technically correct, but is an uncommon arrangement.
"A fishy man" is also correct, but this does not fit the sentence either.
So the best way is:
I asked a man who was fishing where B.W. lived.
It's just occurred to me. How about this:
I asked a man fishing there where B.W. lived.
This would work if you had just explained where "there" was.
Yes, I understand. I just thought if we give the participle some extention, the clause can be reduced.
For some reason the verb sounds very bad there. I would never say 'a fishing man'. Yet the structure is grammatically sound: a sleeping baby, a crying baby, a falling branch, a dying swan, a burning log. But we wouldn't talk about a skiing man, a playing child: my guess is that the disallowed ones are more or less organized human activities (compare playing with crying), but I can't see why that makes a grammatical difference.
Note that in all these the noun is accented: a crying 'child, a burning 'log. If you use the gerundial noun (the name of activities such as skiing and fishing) you can use that noun as a modifier, but it gets the accent: a 'skiing instructor, a 'fishing expert. (A fishing expert is an expert on fishing, not an expert who is fishing.)
Thank you very much, entangledbank. I guess, in that sense the combination 'a dancing girl' can be understood differently, depending on which word you stress.
Separate names with a comma.