a present participle as a complement modifing a verb

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
I'd like to know a present participle as a complement could modify a verb without comma in any case as in the following examples.


I had lunch reading a book.
I am willing to go to uncle's taking brothers.
I'm coming running.


In advance, Thank you for your help.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The second example is just words thrown together in what looks like a sentence. The other two are understandable but I am not sure about the comma. Maybe I would use one in the first one.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Come running' is possible with other inflected forms (she came running; don't come running to me), but not 'coming running'. I don't know why not, because paired ing-forms are possible with other verbs: I sat reading a book; I was sitting reading a book. My guess is that only certain verbs allow the construction. You can stand, sit, or lie doing something (he stood there looking guilty), you can come or go with an accompaniment (the ship went by trailing ribbons of smoke), but not just any verb. Even your first sentence just doesn't sound natural to me.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you for your concrete answer, entangledbank.
    Then, I will take it that all my examples are wrong.
    I'd like to know why the sentences '1), 2)' aren't proper; the modified verb of 2) is the word 'go'.
     
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    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I called the 1st and 3rd sentences 'understandable' and I was intentionally tentative. :) I agree with ETB that they sound awful though I cannot say if and why they are wrong. Park, as regards correcting the second one, this is the best I can do without violating a language that I care about :D : I am going to my uncle's place and I am taking my brothers along.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    "I called the 1st and 3rd sentences 'understandable' and I was intentionally tentative"
    Do you think that sentence make sense ?
    :D
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I don't know difference with my examples and the below sentences.
    I want you to think of me as a novice at English.

    He will attend grad school starting in Sept.
    He intends to begin graduate school starting in Sept.
    The immediate goal of the European "peace" movement is to reverse a 1979 NATO decision to deploy a new generation of U.S.-built nuclear missiles starting in late 1983.

    Could you please tell me the difference of the two?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I must admit this is puzzling. I am now thinking that the second verb must be some kind of 'accompaniment' in a fairly narrow sense. It can be actions or passive activities or thoughts:

    I walked down the corridor playing with a yo-yo.
    I drove home listening to the radio.
    I went home intending to relax / thinking I'd solved the problem / planning my revenge.
    I ran to the lift hoping I was not too late.

    But 'taking my brothers' isn't something you're doing at the same time as going to your uncle's, it's really all the same action. So that's why I think it doesn't come under 'accompaniment' and I still wouldn't say this without a comma:

    :thumbsdown: I went to my uncle's place taking my brothers with me.
    :thumbsup: I went to my uncle's place, taking my brothers with me.
    :thumbsdown: I left work taking my briefcase.
    :thumbsup: I left work, taking my briefcase.

    That last pair is to show that it's not anything about the length or weight of the phrases. It's short and simple, compared to the uncle example. So I still don't really understand what the difference is.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you for your sincere answer, entangledbank.

    This two examples are not proper examples because the present participle are modifying the nouns before those.
    He will attend grad school starting in Sept.
    He intends to begin graduate school starting in Sept.

    How about this?: I am willing to go to uncle's smiling.

    I still don't know why the sentence "The immediate goal of the European "peace" movement is to reverse a 1979 NATO decision to deploy a new generation of U.S.-built nuclear missiles starting in late 1983." is right and the sentence "I left work taking my briefcase." is wrong.
    If there aren't grammatical descriptions and we have to take in that difference through a linguistic sense, It is difficult for me to understand the difference.
    I long to know that but I can't, so I am very sorrowful.
    Might there ,in any chance, be the way that I can know the difference?
     
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    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I can't explain the general rule, but these two examples are different:

    "The immediate goal of the European "peace" movement is to reverse a 1979 NATO decision to deploy a new generation of U.S.-built nuclear missiles starting in late 1983."
    "Starting []" modifies the action "deploy []." It tells us when they will deploy.

    "I left work taking my briefcase."
    'Taking' doesn't tell use anything more about 'left'. It adds information about what I will be doing; it introduces an additional action, or a new thought. That is why I would add use a comma to divide it from 'left work', as entangledbank does above.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I integrated your opinions; see the below ideas and would do you confirm my ideas?

    the possible case:
    1)The present participle is used as role of an adverb: when, where, whereby.
    ex)
    The immediate goal of the European "peace" movement is to reverse a 1979 NATO decision to deploy a new generation of U.S.-built nuclear missiles starting in late 1983.
    2)The action or thought of the present participle is excuted with the action of the verb at the same time.
    ex)
    I was sitting reading a book.
    The ship went by trailing ribbons of smoke.
    I walked down the corridor playing with a yo-yo.
    I went home intending to relax
    I ran to the lift hoping I was not too late.

    the impossible case:
    3)The present participle indicate the state of the subject and doesn't apply to the case '2)'
    I left work taking my briefcase.
    I am willing to go to uncle's taking brothers with me.

    Then, I don't know why these two sentences aren't proper.
    I had lunch reading a book.
    I'm coming running.

    Please help me, Cagey.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think other people may have better explanations than I do, but these are my thoughts:

    I had lunch reading a book. To me this sounds like two distinct actions, the same problem I find in I left work carrying my suitcase.
    However, "I ate lunch reading a book" does sound OK to me. This is because reading and eating can be done at the same time. For reasons I can't explain 'to have lunch' seems to me different. The only way I can explain it is to say 'having lunch' it isn't as much an action as an accomplishment, or something like that.
    In any case, I don't think you are going to find a systematic rule for this. It varies with the verb and the particular context. You would be safer to use different constructions to express these ideas. "I read my book while I had lunch."

    I'm coming running. It's a similar problem. Coming and running are both actions. They mean approximately the same thing, and it's odd to pair them up like this.

    Note:
    This is about another construction and doesn't answer this question, but you may find it interesting:
    a-running ... prefix a- before verb.
     
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