Hi LikeBarleyBending,Here is a link that might answers your question:
Thank you very much, JamesM. I think you answered my question beautifully. So it's the verb "see" or "smell" that makes the difference. I can see the process, but cannot smell the process.I can watch something burn from beginning to end, but my sense of smell can only report that it is burning at the moment or that it was burnt in the past.
This is not right. These verbs are followed by infinitives (without to) as well as gerunds. The posts above try to explain the difference in nuance between the gerund and the infinitive in such cases.Verbs of perception - FEEL, HEAR, NOTICE, OBSERVE, SEE, SMELL, WATCH - may be followed by gerunds, however, never infinitives.
Infinitives are (always) to + verb1 whereas bare infinitives are the verbs without to. The perception verbs may also be followed by the base form of the verb (bare infinitive without the infinitive marker "to").This is not right. These verbs are followed by infinitives (without to) as well as gerunds. The posts above try to explain the difference in nuance between the gerund and the infinitive in such cases.
Well, of course there is. It is a biological thing, I believe - you can see the whole process of something happening. However, how can you smell the whole process of something happening? How would you determine, without seeing, all the separate stages of a stump burning - catching fire, then the fire engulfing the whole of it, then the smouldering remains? Is human olfaction capable of 'perceiving' in such detail?But there is a difference between the sense of sight and the sense of smell, at least in English, Insuhk..