I tried <cleaning / the cleaning of> this room

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moyeea

Senior Member
Chinese-China
Edit: This thread has been split off from: I need horse-riding
Cagey, moderator

Your friend's sentence doesn't sound like normal English. We don't normally talk about "needing horse-riding". Here is a normal way to express the idea in AE: I really need to go riding/horseback riding.
But sometimes I saw a sentence like:
My room needs a cleaning.

But if I say:I tried cleaning this room.(it means I put great efforts on cleaning this room)

If I say: I tried the cleaning of this room.(It means I just had a try or made great efforts?)

Thanks so much!
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome.
    But sometimes I saw a sentence like:
    My room needs a cleaning.
    This is a normal pattern, but it only works for a few gerunds like "cleaning", "brushing", or "scrubbing": That little kid's face needs a scrubbing. :thumbsup: This room needs a good cleaning. :thumbsup:

    You can't use that pattern with every possible gerund: This dog needs a walking. :confused: This dog needs to be walked.:thumbsup:

    If I say: I tried the cleaning of this room.(It means I just had a try or made great efforts?)
    "The cleaning of this room" is pretty strange. To me, it's just an abnormal way of saying "I tried cleaning this room." :thumbsup:
     

    moyeea

    Senior Member
    Chinese-China
    You're welcome.This is a normal pattern, but it only works for a few gerunds like "cleaning", "brushing", or "scrubbing": That little kid's face needs a scrubbing. :thumbsup: This room needs a good cleaning. :thumbsup:

    You can't use that pattern with every possible gerund: This dog needs a walking. :confused: This dog needs to be walked.:thumbsup:

    "The cleaning of this room" is pretty strange. To me, it's just an abnormal way of saying "I tried cleaning this room." :thumbsup:
    Thanks so much for your kind help!!!

    Sometimes my friends say something that really confuses me.

    Here cleaning is used more like a noun(because has an article , "a cleaning") some people call them deverbal nouns.

    But I'm just confused about the meaning, because doing something sometimes has different meanings.

    eg: I need their arrival(because if they come, they will give me some chance to make money, here has no passive voice meaning)

    I need some cleaning here.(the manager pointed to a dirty table). Does this one makes sense? or just means I need to be washed.

    I have looked up some information and I think if the gerund functions as nouns, they have the same meanings when they are verbal.

    In this way, if some words can used as nouns in the structure (I'm not sure if there is) "try doing something", it still means they put effort on doing these things. Am I right?

    Thanks a million!
     
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