Her mistake was insulting him

< Previous | Next >

matar0

Senior Member
Italian, Italy
Is it possible to use the gerund even with this words(mistake,proud,shame,error,wrong) which usually take the infinitive,
If instead of:
It was her mistake to have insulted him.
We make a sentence like:
Her mistake was to have insulted him.

So, Can we also say:
Her mistake was insulting / having insulted him ?

Thank you very much
 
  • kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hello. Another possibility would be: Her mistake was that she insulted him. Actually, I think that this sentence flows a bit better. Hope this helps.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The trick with "Her mistake was insulting him" is that it's ambiguous. It could mean "Her mistake was to insult him" or it could mean "She made a mistake, and he was insulted as a result." "Her mistake was having insulted him" makes it clear that the act of her insulting him was the mistake. I'd vote for the second one of the two.
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The trick with "Her mistake was insulting him" is that it's ambiguous. It could mean "Her mistake was to insult him" or it could mean "She made a mistake, and he was insulted as a result." "Her mistake was having insulted him" makes it clear that the act of her insulting him was the mistake. I'd vote for the second one of the two.
    :thumbsup: Great catch! I missed the ambiguity entirely.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top