about to join <> about the joining of

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Bigtime

Senior Member
Arabic
I wrote:

1. What is your opinion about women joining the army?
2. What is your opinion about the joining of women the army?
3. What is your opinion about to join women the army?

Would three of those sentences share the same meaning? I have a feeling that # 2 and 3 are wrong but don't know why. Any logical explanation?

Thanks.
 
  • cheetrowe

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Hi Bigtime,

    You are correct. Number 1 is correct and Numbers 2 and 3 are incorrect. Basically 2 and 3 have structural problems--they are missing words and/or the words would have to be reorganized, most likely to get to the wording shown in Number 1 (I'm sure you could word the sentence differently, but 2 and 3 won't work).

    Hope that helps!
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    As soon as you add the word "the" in number 2, you transform "joining" into a noun. Its relationship with the other nouns in the sentence then needs to be defined. This is nearly impossible, and an English-speaker would probably say: What is your opinion about the recruitment of women by the army?

    Or, simplest of all, your example no.1 which is clear, brief and correct.
     

    Bigtime

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Thanks all for responding but I still need more clarifications.
    My problem in this sentence after the preposition "about"
    Can I rewrite the sentence as:

    1. What is your opinion about joining women the army? ( since gerund comes after the preposition)
    2. What is your opinion about the joining of women in the army.

    Thanks.
     

    cheetrowe

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Thanks all for responding but I still need more clarifications.
    My problem in this sentence after the preposition "about"
    Can I rewrite the sentence as:

    1. What is your opinion about joining women the army? ( since gerund comes after the preposition)
    2. What is your opinion about the joining of women in the army.

    Thanks.
    Hi Bigtime,

    Your new Number 1 is incorrect, not because the gerund is incorrect but because the phrase doesn't work. You can indeed use a gerund but you'd need something like "What is your opinion about running?"

    Remember that the gerund does not have to be the first word after the preposition in all cases. For instance, "What is your opinion about Obama running for a second term?"

    Your new Number 2 is close in the sense that another gerund might work (e.g., "What is your opinion about the signing?" In that case "signing" might refer to a professional athlete signing a contract).

    Stick with your original Number 1 from the original post. I think the reason you are confused is because "joining" just doesn't quite work in all cases. With other verbs, the gerund form fits much more easily in the way you are trying to do it. You have the right idea and putting the gerund right after the preposition will work most of the time, just not all the time. :)
     
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