depend on - you to do / you doing

TommyGun

Senior Member
Hi!

Is there any subtle difference in meaning between the sentences:

I depend on you doing this work.
I depend on you to do this work.

I count on you coming in time.
I count on you to come in time.
 
  • Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Hi!

    Is there any subtle difference in meaning between the sentences:

    I depend on you doing this work. <--- Would sound a bit unnatural, but wold be "ok".
    I depend on you to do this work. <--- More natural sounding.

    I count on you coming
    in on time.
    I count on you to come in on time. <--- Would sound more natural.
    or
    I count on you coming in on time.
    I count on you to come in on time.
    <--- Would sound more natural.

    The variations all mean the same thing.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Is there any subtle difference in meaning between the sentences:

    (1) I depend on your doing this work.
    (2) I depend on you to do this work.

    (3) I count on your coming in time.
    (4) I count on you to come in time.
    In my opinion, yes, there's a difference—definitely in the first pair, possibly in the second.

    I've numbered your sentences for convenient reference, to avoid repetition.

    Sentence (1), to me, stresses the importance of getting the work done, while sentence (2) emphasizes that it's you I'm depending on to do it. The same is true of sentence (3) versus sentence (4), although there's less of a difference.

    [I've indicated a small grammatical correction in sentences (1) and (3); the "-ing" form, called a gerund, behaves as a noun and requires the possessive form of the pronoun.]
     

    TommyGun

    Senior Member
    Thank for your clear explanation!

    [I've indicated a small grammatical correction in sentences (1) and (3); the "-ing" form, called a gerund, behaves as a noun and requires the possessive form of the pronoun.]
    Does it really matter? I've heard that the possessive style is considered to be rather formal, and we can use ether object or possessive in such phrases.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There are many previous threads that discuss the differences between gerund and infinitive.
    They are very easy to find - just look at the dictionary and thread title search results for gerund infinitive.

    For some examples there is little or no difference.
    For others, the difference is clear.


    Similarly, if you look at the results for gerund possessive you will see a list of threads where the difference (or lack of difference) between "you studying" and "your studying" is discussed.

    It would be difficult to summarise the very comprehensive analyses presented in those threads, so if you are really interested, you need to start reading :)
     
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