change the order depending on whether [gerund without subject pronoun]

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, guys

I would like to know if I can use a verb in gerund without any subject pronoun before.Like:

"I have to change the order depending on whether it is a question or a statement"

"They increased the price heading into the end of the year"

Do these sentences have any problem?

Thank you
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The answer is yes [I mean "no"], although we probably wouldn't call the -ing forms "gerunds" in this case. They're not functioning as nouns.
     
    Last edited:

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    My apologies, Gabriel; I mean there's no problem. The sentences are fine.
    The Newt, just one thing that I am mulling over. I have always learned that every single verb must have a subject in English. If, as you pointed out, the verbs with ing are not functioning as nouns, and there is no subject before them, how can my sentences be correct?

    Thank you.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The Newt, just one thing that I am mulling over. I have always learned that every single verb must have a subject in English. If, as you pointed out, the verbs with ing are not functioning as nouns, and there is no subject before them, how can my sentences be correct?

    Thank you.
    As I understand it the two -ing words above are functioning adverbially. At least in the first example you could substitute an adverb like "regardless of" for "depending on." It would change the meaning, but not the structure.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    As I understand it the two -ing words above are functioning adverbially. At least in the first example you could substitute an adverb like "regardless of" for "depending on." It would change the meaning, but not the structure.
    and in the second one? Maybe "near the end of the year"? so are the second ok too?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The participles are not verbs in themselves so they can not have a subject.
    They can't indicate time or person.

    The present participle ending in 'ing' becomes part of the progressive tenses only with the help of the auxiliary 'verb 'to be', in whatever tense is needed.
    I am swimming/ I was swimming/I have been swimming/ I will have been swimming.

    The past participle works in a similar fashion, using 'have' as an auxiliary.
    (Swim, swam, swum)

    I have swum/ I had swum/I will have swum.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    The participles are not verbs in themselves so they can not have a subject.
    They can't indicate time or person.

    The present participle ending in 'ing' becomes part of the progressive tenses only with the help of the auxiliary 'verb 'to be', in whatever tense is needed.
    I am swimming/ I was swimming/I have been swimming/ I will have been swimming.

    The past participle works in a similar fashion, using 'have' as an auxiliary.
    (Swim, swam, swum)

    I have swum/ I had swum/I will have swum.
    So are my sentences fine in your opinion?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hello, guys

    I would like to know if I can use a verb in gerund without any subject pronoun before.Like:

    "I have to change the order depending on whether it is a question or a statement"

    "They increased the price heading into the end of the year"

    Do these sentences have any problem?

    Thank you
    There is no problem besides a little ambiguity. You can think of "depending on" as "dependent on" ("-ent" is Latin for participial "-ing") or "in accord with", and "heading into" as "approaching" or "near".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    "I have to change the order depending on whether it is a question or a statement"

    "They increased the price heading into the end of the year"
    They would both be fine as structures, except that the second is not naturally expressed unless it's a business expression 'to head into the end' instead of 'towards the end of the year'.

    These are examples or participle phrases being used instead of finite clauses with a main verb.
    "You have to change the word order and that depends on whether it's a question or a statement".
    "They increased the price as they headed into the end of the year/ as the end of the year approached."
    The underlined verbs are main verbs in a clause, with subjects and indicators of time and person. It's handy being able to 'reduce' these finite clauses into a participle phrase.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    They would both be fine as structures, except that the second is not naturally expressed unless it's a business expression 'to head into the end' instead of 'towards the end of the year'.

    These are examples or participle phrases being used instead of finite clauses with a main verb.
    "You have to change the word order and that depends on whether it's a question or a statement".
    "They increased the price as they headed into the end of the year/ as the end of the year approached."
    The underlined verbs are main verbs in a clause, with subjects and indicators of time and person. It's handy being able to 'reduce' these finite clauses into a participle phrase.
    They would both be fine as structures, except that the second is not naturally expressed unless it's a business expression 'to head into the end' instead of 'towards the end of the year'.

    These are examples or participle phrases being used instead of finite clauses with a main verb.
    "You have to change the word order and that depends on whether it's a question or a statement".
    "They increased the price as they headed into the end of the year/ as the end of the year approached."
    The underlined verbs are main verbs in a clause, with subjects and indicators of time and person. It's handy being able to 'reduce' these finite clauses into a participle phrase.
    Hello, Hermione

    I meant "head into" kind of something like this sentence : U.S. futures extend rally heading into year-end

    source: BNN - Watch TV Online | U.S. futures extend rally heading into year-end

    But anyway, If I change "head into" to "head toward", are my sentences fine?
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    There is no problem besides a little ambiguity. You can think of "depending on" as "dependent on" ("-ent" is Latin for participial "-ing") or "in accord with", and "heading into" as "approaching" or "near".
    They would both be fine as structures, except that the second is not naturally expressed unless it's a business expression 'to head into the end' instead of 'towards the end of the year'.

    These are examples or participle phrases being used instead of finite clauses with a main verb.
    "You have to change the word order and that depends on whether it's a question or a statement".
    "They increased the price as they headed into the end of the year/ as the end of the year approached."
    The underlined verbs are main verbs in a clause, with subjects and indicators of time and person. It's handy being able to 'reduce' these finite clauses into a participle phrase.


    , If I change "head into" to "head toward", are my sentences fine?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    , If I change "head into" to "head toward", are my sentences fine?
    They are still grammatical, but less natural. I should revise my "translation" of "heading into" to "approaching and entering", but my main point is how they fit into the sentence by introducing reduced clauses.

    What is not entirely clear to me is what exactly these phrases modify, and in effect what the subject would be were the clauses not reduced. Is it the order that depends on something, how I have to change the order, or something else? Is it the price that heads into the end of the year, their increasing the price, they themselves, all of the above?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I asked my husband about the use of 'heading into the end of the year". He was the Finance Editor of a major US business weekly. He says this ' heading into' is pointless business jargon which he would have expurgate in any story that was submitted to him.
    He agreed that suitable phrases might be "... as the year-end approaches" or " ... towards the end of the year."

    The use of a participle clause as a reduction of a finite verb clause isn't justified in the second sentence. It is being driven by this "head into" verb, when some adverbial clause or phrase of time would result in perfectly good normal comprehensible English.
    I don't know what it is with these US business talk shows, which seem to be conducted at a high-pitched, semi-hysterical tone with this weird mutilation of language to make them sound more clever than they really are.
     
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