Gerund or noun: I was surprised at John's quick recovering.

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Akasaka

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi everybody.

Please look at the following sentence.

I was surprised at John's quick recovering.

I know I had better use "recovery" here. But does this sentence sound funny if I use "recovering"? "Recovering" here means recovering from a cold or something.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    A gerund can be used as a "noun," so here recovering is both a gerund and a noun. It sounds good for me, and it could mean "recovering from a cold and a lot of things" in this context.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Hi everybody.

    Please look at the following sentence.

    I was surprised at John's quick recovering.

    I know I had better use "recovery" here. But does this sentence sound funny if I use "recovering"? "Recovering" here means recovering from a cold or something.

    Thanks in advance.
    It sounds odd to me. :) I would use "recovery" here. I can't think of a natural-sounding way to use "recovering" in a similar sentence without turning it into a verb.
     

    Giordano Bruno

    Senior Member
    English, England
    It sounds odd to me. :) I would use "recovery" here. I can't think of a natural-sounding way to use "recovering" in a similar sentence without turning it into a verb.
    How about
    "I was surprised at John's recovering so quickly."
     

    l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    How about
    1. "I was surprised at John's recovering so quickly."
    I see eye to eye with you. I overlooked the adjective "quick" used before recovering in the original post. On second thought, if "quick" is used, I think "recovery" fits better here, that is,
    2. I was surprised at John's quick recovery.

    Btw, sentence 1. derives from two simple sentences:
    3. I was surprised at something.
    4. John was recovering so quiclkly.

    If we try to combine 3. and 4., we have to turn sentence 4. into a noun phrase so as to be the "object" of the preposition "at." Odd as sentence 1. may sound, it's absolutely grammatically correct.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I agree with all the native speakers. It may be grammatically correct to say recovering, but it is not idiomatic. In other words, it sounds odd, unaccustomed, strange, and somehow "wrong" to native ears.

    I would probably say it one of these ways:

    I was surprised at John's quick recovery.

    I was surprised that John had recovered so quickly.

    I was surprised at John's having recovered so quickly.

    John's quick recovery surprised me.
     

    l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    I agree with all the native speakers. It may be grammatically correct to say recovering, but it is not idiomatic. In other words, it sounds odd, unaccustomed, strange, and somehow "wrong" to native ears.

    I would probably say it one of these ways::tick:

    I was surprised at John's quick recovery.:tick:

    I was surprised that John had recovered so quickly.:tick:

    I was surprised at John's having recovered so quickly.:tick:

    John's quick recovery surprised me.
    :tick:

    Touch'e!:thumbsup:
     

    l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    I agree with all the native speakers. It may be grammatically correct to say recovering, but it is not idiomatic. In other words, it sounds odd, unaccustomed, strange, and somehow "wrong" to native ears.

    I would probably say it one of these ways:

    I was surprised at John's quick recovery.

    I was surprised that John had recovered so quickly.

    I was surprised at John's having recovered so quickly.

    John's quick recovery surprised me.

    Touch'e:thumbsup:
     
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