in doing something

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, everyone

I would like to know if the following use of "in + doing" is correct:

"He gave us a account of the experience he went through in taking(when he took) these pills"

Is that wrong?

Thank you!!
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    That doesn't really work, as it sounds like you are talking about the literal experience of taking (swallowing) the pills, and not about what happened to him afterward. "When he took" is much better.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    That doesn't really work, as it sounds like you are talking about the literal experience of taking (swallowing) the pills, and not about what happened to him afterward. "When he took" is much better.

    And in sentences like

    "He hurt my arm in scraping it against the rough wall"

    Would it be incorrect too?
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    That sentence is conceptually correct (because the scraping was how he hurt it), but unnatural. We would probably say:

    He hurt my arm when he scraped it against the rough wall.
    He hurt my arm by scraping it against the rough wall.​
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    That sentence is conceptually correct (because the scraping was how he hurt it), but unnatural. We would probably say:

    He hurt my arm when he scraped it against the rough wall.
    He hurt my arm by scraping it against the rough wall.​
    So when are you used to say "in + doing"?
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    So when are you used to say "in + doing"?
    I think that using "in doing" as a temporal reduced clause is a literal translation from Portuguese to English but it doesn't work well.
    You can use "in doing" when a verb takes the preposition "in", for example "he succeeded in doing something".
     
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