Julie went fishing.

keeley_h

Senior Member
Bulgarian
Hi, everybody

In "Helen is a girl," 'Helen' is the subject, 'is' is the verb, and 'a girl' is the complement.
The sentence above is easy to understand.

But "Julie went fishing." is difficult for me.
I know'Julie' is the subject and 'went' is the verb. But what is 'fishing'?

I have one more question. Is 'fishing' in 'Julie went fishing,' a gerund or a present participle?
 
  • In this sentence "fishing" is a gerund and it is the object of the sentence.
    It could also be the subject of a sentence, like in "Fishing is fun".
    Cheers,
    Aumont
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's not an object. You can't passivize it: :cross:Fishing was went by Julie.

    It's rather hard to say what it is, as it doesn't at first seem like the same structure as in 'Julie began fishing', where it's an ordinary catenative complement of 'began'. But perhaps it is: we can also say 'Julie came fishing with us'.

    Is it a verb? Does it take objects? Well, 'fishing' doesn't anyway: :cross:Julie went fishing trout; but also :cross:Julie has been fishing trout. So try it with a verb that does take objects: Julie has been hunting tigers, and :tick:Julie went hunting tigers. So that seems to mean it's a verb. So it's probably a catenative complement after all, the same way the verb is after 'began' or many other verbs.

    The traditional terms 'gerund' and 'present participle' do not accurately describe English grammar. The ing-forms are either nouns or verbs.
     

    LovableJim

    Member
    English - South East England
    The traditional terms 'gerund' and 'present participle' do not accurately describe English grammar. The ing-forms are either nouns or verbs.
    Something can be a present participle and a verb at the same time:

    - to fish (infinitive)
    - fished (past participle)
    - fishing (present participle)

    But you're right, it can't be an object. It's definitely a verb, but classifying it as a part of that sentence is difficult...
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The traditional terms 'gerund' and 'present participle' do not accurately describe English grammar. The ing-forms are either nouns or verbs.
    I agree with the first sentence. although one may wonder why gerund-participle was thought to be a suitable term in the first place.
    In your second sentence, you surely mean that they have the function of a noun or an adjective. The -ing form cannot be a noun.
     

    keeley_h

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks a lot for your nice reply.
    I see.

    Well, what's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
    Julie went fishing.
    Julie went for fishing.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The first sentence merely tells us that Julie left and went somewhere to fish.
    The second sentence tells us that Julie went for the fishing instead of going for some other reason. This sort of sentence would make a sensible reply to a question like this:
    Did Julie go there for exercising? No. Julie went there for fishing. This is an unusual question and an unusual answer. The normal version would be something like this:
    Did Julie go there to exercise? No. Julie went there to fish.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thanks a lot for your nice reply.
    I see.

    Well, what's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
    Julie went fishing.
    Julie went for fishing.
    The second sentence could only be used in a certain context. For example, Julie was taking part in a quiz. She was asked to choose between various activities. She chose [=went for] fishing.
    Otherwise, it would have to be corrected to, for example, Julie went for the purpose of fishing (i.e. she went somewhere in order to fish).
     

    keeley_h

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks a lot for your quick replies.
    I see.

    Well, what's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
    Or why 'to fish' is normal?

    Julie went for fishing.
    Julie went to fish.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well, what's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
    Or why 'to fish' is normal?

    Julie went for fishing.
    Julie went to fish.
    It is not really possible to comment on such short sentences. They could mean anything or nothing.
    Owlman pointed out that the first sentence is unusual. I would call it substandard English. But as he said, Julie went for the fishing is a possible reply.
    Julie went to fish simply tells us the reason why she went there. It does not mean the same as "Julie went fishing".
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks a lot for your quick replies.
    I see.

    Well, what's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
    Or why 'to fish' is normal?

    Julie went for fishing.
    Julie went to fish.
    Hello, Keeley. You can use either expression if you want to. People will understand you if you say "Julie went there for the fishing". This would be a good answer to "Did Julie go there for the hiking?" You can say "Julie went for fishing.", but it doesn't sound very idiomatic in many cases. Many times, native speakers use this construction: "Did Julie go there to hike?" The regular answer is: "No. Julie went there to fish". When somebody asks "Did Julie go biking?" We usually answer like this: "No. Julie went fishing."
     
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