Obtaining <of?> registration ['of' with gerunds]

Avanpost

Member
Russian
Good day!

I'm writing a letter to my business partner and can't understand when I should put a preposition "of" between gerunds and objects. I've done some research on the internet, but haven't found the answer since the examples were contradictory. I have the following pattern:

Our activities:
-Obtaining (of) registration certificates and making amendments to previously issued ones
-Writing (of) the technical documentation
-Organizing and monitoring (of) clinical research
-Preparing (of) the registration documents
-Drawing up and registration (of) the declaration

I've noticed that most of them go without 'of', but in some cases they do with the preposition. Please, tell me how I could identify the way of the word formation.
 
  • geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Of is not necessary if these phrases are subjects of finite verb forms. When you use of, you would normally use the article as well.

    e.g. Writing technical documentation is time consuming.
    The writing of the technical documentation is the next step.
     

    dadane

    Senior Member
    English (London/Essex)
    Because this is a bulleted list, different rules apply. You are, in effect, writing in a 'headline style'. In my opinion, the last one is the only one where you actually need the 'of' because 'registration' is a unquestionably a noun.

    In a complete sentence you would write something like "I am engaged in the organising and monitoring of clinical research" or "I am engaged in organising and monitoring clinical research". When you remove the start of the sentence it becomes unclear if the verbs are gerund or not.

    (Cross-posted. I'm a bit slow today. :)
    )
     

    Avanpost

    Member
    Russian
    ...you would write something like "I am engaged in the organising and monitoring of clinical research" or "I am engaged in organising and monitoring clinical research"...
    Sorry, I've got confused. What is the difference between the two sentences? As I understand, if I use 'the', I should use the preposition 'of' and vice versa. Is that right?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The choice is yours - they have the same meaning with or without 'of', but you have to get the other grammatical features to match. The ing-form can be either a verb or a noun*. As a verb, it can have a direct object, and is modified by adverbs:

    carefully writing technical documentation

    As a noun, it can't have an object, so a linking 'of' is required. It is modified by adjectives, and may take the article 'the':

    (the) careful writing of technical documentation

    Normally, the noun grammar is a bit more formal. We're more likely to use it as a verb (without 'of' and 'the') in speech. But in writing, the noun use with 'of' is quite normal.

    * This is not the same as the traditional but misleading distinction between gerund and present participle.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    If you use the -ing form of the verb, it can take the form of a noun or the form of a verb (or an adverb or an adjective).

    If you put a the in front of the -ing form, it becomes a noun. If it becomes a noun, of is required.

    "I am engaged in the organising and monitoring of clinical research."

    Compare

    "I am engaged in holding the dog." -> verbal: it explains what you are doing and can be rewritten, "I am holding the dog."
    "I am engaged in the holding of the dog." -> noun: it names your action.

    (crosspost with etb, with whom I agree.)
     

    Avanpost

    Member
    Russian
    I thank everyone for your answers. It really helps!

    But I have one more question. As far as I know, 'the' can be ommited in a list. Hence the following question has arisen:

    Can I omit 'the' which is before a noun-gerund to simplify the sentence if the one is a list point? (I mean a line in the list, in case I haven't conveyed the sense correctly) -- holding of the dog ('holding' has the features of the noun)
     

    Avanpost

    Member
    Russian
    And the last question if you don't mind. Can I use the indefinite article 'a/an' before gerunds acting as a noun? If so, could you give me some examples. And does it require the preposition 'of' after the gerund-noun?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I thank everyone for your answers. It really helps!

    Can I omit 'the' which is before a noun-gerund to simplify the sentence if the one is a list point? (I mean a line in the list, in case I haven't conveyed the sense correctly) -- holding of the dog ('holding' has the features of the noun)
    I think you'd better give some examples: there are many uses for gerunds.
    And the last question if you don't mind. Can I use the indefinite article 'a/an' before gerunds acting as a noun? If so, could you give me some examples.
    "He heard a loud crying." / "I attended a wedding." / "The coat has an expensive lining."
    And does it require the preposition 'of' after the gerund-noun?
    only if it possessed or associated with someone/something.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    And the last question if you don't mind. Can I use the indefinite article 'a/an' before gerunds acting as a noun? If so, could you give me some examples. And does it require the preposition 'of' after the gerund-noun?
    Two of the examples in #9 are not "gerunds" (wedding and lining). They are deverbal nouns, i.e. count nouns with their own dictionary definition.
    You can find two examples of verbal nouns (restructuring and screaming) used with an indefinite article in http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2357606.
     
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