a structure with gerund

Hey,
First, could you tell me if these sentences are well-formed?
I am writing to ask for you taking part in a camp.
I am wondering about she/her coming on time.

Second, what do they convey? Let me guess and please tell me if I am correct and if my examples are the same in meaning as the original sentences.
I am writing to ask you to take part in a camp.
I am wondering if she comes on time.

Thanks in advance :)
 
  • DaleC

    Senior Member
    The first rephrased sentence is not well formed. The second is well formed, but it would usually not be a paraphrase of the original.

    But when it comes to gerunds and infinitives, there is not always a firm rule for well formedness. I mentioned in another post that a corpus based comprehensive grammar of English, brimming with statistics, was unable to come up with a set of powerful general rules. (The book is Longman grammar of spoken and written English / Douglas Biber ... [et al.] ; foreword by Randolph Quirk. Longman: 1999. 1204 pp.)

    The relevance for your question is that I can't give you reasons, and maybe no one else will be able to, either.

    majlo said:
    Hey,
    First, could you tell me if these sentences are well-formed?
    I am writing to ask for you taking part in a camp.
    I am wondering about she/her coming on time.

    Second, what do they convey? Let me guess and please tell me if I am correct and if my examples are the same in meaning as the original sentences.
    I am writing to ask you to take part in a camp.
    I am wondering if she comes on time.

    Thanks in advance :)
    Your first rewrite is bad because you use "ask".

    I am writing to discuss your taking part in a camp. -- well formed

    I am writing to advocate for you(r) taking part -- not quite well formed, but almost

    I am writing to encourage your taking part -- too literary, but definitely well formed.


    The original second sentence refers to her habitual behavior: does she consistently come to her appointments on time? "I am wondering about her coming on time" is a strange sentence communicatively: it's hard to imagine a scenario for somebody to say it; it's so literary. It's not strange grammatically. It refers to her coming on time for a particular occasion. The natural thing to say would be "I wonder if she's coming on time" or "I wonder if she'll come on time".

    The reasons your rewrite of sentence two is wrong, well I don't know what they are. It has to do with gerunds, the very words, "wonder" and "come", and other things, and I don't even know what the other things are.

    I am wondering about her coming on time. ~ I am wondering whether she will be late.

    I am worried about her coming late. = I am worried that she will come late"

    I am wondering about her participating in the camp -- mysterious: it could mean many different things. I am wondering whether she should be invited; wondering whether she will participate; wondering whether it's a good idea for her to participate.
     
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