Patrick likes <photographing nature>.

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Tenacious Learner

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi teachers,
I've found these explanations in an online dictionary.
gerund-examples.html

Gerunds as direct objects:
  • I love reading. (verb = love; love what? reading)
  • Patrick likes photographing nature. (verb = likes; likes what? photographing)
My question:
They say "photographing" is the direct object of the sentence, but isn't "photographing nature" the direct object? What does Patrick like? Photographing nature. Right?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    This is like saying that the object in I like to eat red onions is "red".

    Photographing nature is a clause meaning nature photography.
    It does not mean photographing (or nature). Patrick may like photographing in general, but the sentence does not say so.

    You are correct in your analysis. :)

    The website you link to also describes borrowing as a noun in "Do you mind my borrowing these supplies?" Really?
     
    Last edited:

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) publishes a glossary of terminology for use in schools.
    Look up gerund and you will find "see participle". You will see the same if you look up ing-form.
    The following makes clear that this is defined in terms of the participle, as follows (under the heading Participle):

    Reading is important. ('Reading' is used as a noun in these examples.) This -ing form is sometimes called a ‘verbal noun’ or ‘gerund’.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The National Curriculum glossary in the UK does not contain the word gerund.

    It also uses clause when the head of a phrase is a verb (e.g. photographing nature).

    This reflects current terminology. Most websites use traditional terminology, perhaps because the people who write on them don't know any better.
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    The Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) publishes a glossary of terminology for use in schools.
    Look up gerund and you will find "see participle". You will see the same if you look up ing-form.
    The following makes clear that this is defined in terms of the participle, as follows (under the heading Participle):

    Reading is important. ('Reading' is used as a noun in these examples.) This -ing form is sometimes called a ‘verbal noun’ or ‘gerund’.
    This is useful to improve/increase my knowledge.

    TL
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The National Curriculum glossary in the UK does not contain the word gerund.
    The phrase "dumbing down" springs to mind: “Everything must be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” (Wrongly attributed to A. Einstein.)
    The website you link to also describes borrowing as a noun in "Do you mind my borrowing these supplies?" Really?
    I think they are using "noun" to mean "substantive" - this will create problems later on.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi teachers,
    I've found these explanations in an online dictionary.
    gerund-examples.html

    Gerunds as direct objects:
    • I love reading. (verb = love; love what? reading)
    • Patrick likes photographing nature. (verb = likes; likes what? photographing)
    My question:
    They say "photographing" is the direct object of the sentence, but isn't "photographing nature" the direct object? What does Patrick like? Photographing nature. Right?

    Thanks in advance.
    Apologies for repeating what's already been said.

    Yes, if you are using the label "gerund," then photographing nature is a "gerund phrase." The idea is not "Patrick likes photographing," but Patrick likes photographing nature (perhaps Patrick doesn't like photographing nude bodies).

    Regarding terminology, there are three points to be made:
    (a) Traditional grammar calls "photographing" a gerund.

    (b) Some linguists also use the term "gerund," but only in the specific use in which "photographing" appears: as complement (in this case, complement of a "verb"). Other than complement of a verb, these linguists also recognize the term "gerund" for an -ing in subject function (Reading is fun). That's it; those are the only two gerunds that these linguists recognize.

    (c) Other linguists (and I suspect a majority), don't use the term "gerund" at all. What these linguists argue is that morphologically, "gerunds" and "participles" are identical in form. What matters is function, but function in which an -ing word is fully functional as noun or adjective. Accordingly, if an -ing word appears with an article and an "of-prepositional phrase," this -ing word is a noun (but not a "gerund"): The photographing of nature doesn't appeal to me. If an -ing word is a modifier of a noun, that -ing word is a participle/adjective: photographing equipment. Everything else becomes the "gerund-participle" (or simply, an -ing word), a term that recognizes the fact that there's no morphological distinction to be made. Thus, the "gerund-participle" appears in I like reading and Patrick likes photographing nature ("photographing" is not a modifier of "nature;" rather, "nature" is the argument/direct object of "photographing").

    Now, as to what terminology you use (a, b, or c), that's up to you.

    The link that you provide uses traditional grammar to define "gerund." As you can see, traditional grammar has a wide and very liberal use of the term "gerund." You can use that definition, if you wish, but be mindful of the fact that linguists (as defined above, as "b" or "c") don't use that broad definition at all.
     
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