FR/EN: V-ing - gerund / present participle

macta123

Senior Member
India,Hindi
What is the major differences between English and French gerund(gerondif) or say English gerund and participle(present) of French?

Are they comparatively less used in French - in daily life situated?
or Is it very much used as English gerunds are used?
 
  • hibouette

    Senior Member
    France and French
    I like writing. (direct object)
    Programming is fun. (subject)
    Gerund - Wikipedia

    In french, we use infinitive for that :
    J'aime écrire
    Programmer, c'est marrant.

    Le gérondif est la forme du participe présent. Il est, la plupart du temps, précédé de "en". Il exprime, par rapport au verbe principal, une action simultanée
    (Il marche en rêvant). [utilisé souvent]

    Parfois, le participe présent est précédé de "aller" et indique la continuité ou la progression (Ils vont chantant. La peur va croissant, etc.). :( [très rarement utilisé]
    source: Gérondif

    French gérondif is used to point out that an action is done simultaneous with a second action (walking while singing : marcher en chantant)
     
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    damibarn

    Member
    Canada français
    We do not use frequently the present participle alone in oral French, but a lot in the written French (only in good quality written French though), to ease the reading of a long sentence. For example, in written French we could write "on ajoute du sel, permettant une cuisson plus rapide en augmentant la température d'ébullition de l'eau" or "on ajoute du sel, ce qui permet une cuisson plus rapide en augmentant la température d'ébullition de l'eau". Both sentences are saying the same thing, but I would never say the first one. I could write both sentences, but would prefer the first one because it would seems more elegant.

    Now, in daily life, we will use the present participle quite often after the word "en". For example, we would say "en commençant par..." for "starting/beginning with..." or "en parlant de lui, le voilà!" for "talking about him, here he comes" or "en arrivant, je vais faire..." for "when I will arrive/get back, I will...". You could find a lot of examples like these. I guess for this kind of sentences, we use it all the time in French, as in English. But I cannot think of other oral uses of the present participle.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The French gérondif is used much more sparingly than the English one. Often, French will use the infinitive where English has the gerund. However, this must be learned case by case.

    In English, the infinitive can appear alone, or with "to" ("I like to swim"). In French, there is only one form. En revanche, in French the gerund can appear alone, or preceded by en (en passant, etc.)
     

    LouisLesAccents

    New Member
    English and Hindi
    Hi, I am a student just starting to learn french, and I want to know if there is a rule in french when it comes to words that end in "ing" ex. running.
    What I want to know is, is there a pattern with "ing" words and where is it placed in a sentence when translated into french?

    Thank you in advance
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi,
    The first thing to notice is that there are two very different kinds of "ing" words in English.
    The first kind is called gerund, it contains forms describing a verb (an action) as a noun.
    for example in "Driving a car is not difficult", Driving is a verb, used like a noun, because it is (in this case) the subject of the whole sentence. It is therefore a gerund.

    The second kind is called "present participle", it contains forms used as an adjective meaning "in the process of doing".
    For example : "I am afraid of people driving too fast", "driving" is a present participle, because it is used as an adjective meaning (people) who drive too fast. It is therefore a present participle.

    In French, only present participles exist, they are formed using the "ant" ending added to a verb stem.
    Gerunds almost do not exist in French (*), and trying to build one using the "ant" ending will only result in absolutely unintelligible sentences.
    Instead of using a Gerund in French, you can use an infinitive.

    (*) The only use in French of the Gerund is with the preposition "en", in a set phrase like "en marchant" (or any verb) meaning "while walking", where you use indeed a gerund in English to translate.
     

    josieblah

    New Member
    English
    Hi I'm having trouble correctly translating verbs with -ing into french. The context is:

    the improving geopolitical environment and also from France's continuing popularity with European tourists

    L'environnement geopolitique ameliorant et aussi de la popularite incessant de la France avec les touristes Europeens

    Thanks for your help!

    also

    "to attract a new clientele while retaining the existing one, notably taking more advantage of the numerous transit tourists crossing its territory while heading to Spain"

    I have translated it like this:

    d’attire une nouvelle clientèle, pendant qu’en gardant l’un qui existe, notamment en prennent plus d'avantage des nombreuse touristes en transit qui traversent son territoire pendant qu'ils sont en route de l'Espagne

    Please help!
     
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    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    An -ing form in English sometimes works as a noun (it is then called "gerund"), sometimes as an adjective, and sometimes as a present participle. These different -ing forms are translated differently in French.

    Noun: Waiting is very unpleasant → infinitive: Attendre est très déplaisant.
    Noun: I'm fond of swimmingnoun: Je suis fou de natation.

    Adjective: an improving environment → relative clause: un environnement qui s'améliore.
    Adjective: the existing clientèle → adjective: la clientèle existante.

    Present participle:
    while retaining the clientèle → gérondif: tout en gardant la clientèle.
    Present participle: Laughing loudly, the boy kicked the dog → present participle: Riant très fort, le garçon donna un coup de pied au chien.
     
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