spend many billions more (on) bailing out Greece

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
That would require officials to come together in ways they so far have not been able to, because it is politically unpopular in some countries to spend many billions more bailing out Greece. The New York Times

Dear all,

I've looked up in the dictionary and read many threads in this forum. So I conclude (of course, I may be wrong:D) that there is a preposition "on" left out before "bailing out". Could you please tell me whether my conclusion is correct? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    You can say it both ways. The grammatical function of "spending" is different, though, in both cases. In the sentence without "on" it is an adverbial participle: people spend money and because of that they do something-> they spend money doing something-> they spend money bailing out Greece. In the sentence with "on" it is a gerund, the object of the preposition "on": people spend money on something, people spend money on doing something, people spend money on bailing out Greece (or, the bailout of Greece).
     
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    Camlearner

    Senior Member
    Khmer
    So they spend money on bailing out Greece = they spend money bailing out Greece.

    If 2 grammar functions possible here ! How about the problem of idiomatic? with & without 'on', which 1 more idiomatic?
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    You can say it both ways. The grammatical function of "spending" is different, though, in both cases. In the sentence with "on" it is an adverbial participle: people spend money and because of that they do something-> they spend money doing something-> they spend money bailing out Greece. In the sentence without "on" it is a gerund, the object of the preposition "on": people spend money on something, people spend money on doing something, people spend money on bailing out Greece (or, the bailout of Greece).
    Thanks Tazzler. :)

    However, I can't fully understand what you said. Here is my attempt to catch your point.
    1 Both with and without "on" are correct.
    2 With on, bailing is a gerund, the object of the preposition on.
    3 Without on, bailing is an adverbial participle.
    4 Both sentence (with or without on) are almost no different in meaning.

    Could you please tell me whether my understandings are correct? Thanks again.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    You can say it both ways. The grammatical function of "spending" is different, though, in both cases. In the sentence with "on" it is an adverbial participle: people spend money and because of that they do something-> they spend money doing something-> they spend money bailing out Greece. In the sentence without "on" it is a gerund, the object of the preposition "on": people spend money on something, people spend money on doing something, people spend money on bailing out Greece (or, the bailout of Greece).
    You spend money on a noun: on a car, on an education, etc. So in "spending money on bailing out Greece," "bailing" is a gerund, not a participle (present participles also end in -ing).

    Drop the "on" and "bailing" becomes a participle. The participle is an adjective, describing . . . I'm not sure what, exactly. It seems to describe "to spend," which is an infinitive. The infinitive has an object, "money." The sentence could just say that it is "politically unpopular to spend money" (that's not literally true, but the sentence would be grammatical). "bailing" makes "to spend" more specific: it's not just unpopular to spend money, it's unpopular to spend money bailing out. The phrasal participle bailing out (from the phrasal verb, "to bail out") is then further specified by an object, Greece. Other objects are possible, like "failed banks," "banks that made unwise loans," or "Portugal."

    Tazzler, could you have reversed "with on" and "without on"?
     

    Camlearner

    Senior Member
    Khmer
    Hi Fabulish: with & without 'on', which 1 more idiomatic? or it should not be a question because both are correct grammatically?
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    The conclusions you reached in your post #5 are correct, LQZ. Here you could omit the "on" or include it. To my mind, omitting it is better because the sentence flows better (one less word), unless, of course, you want to spend your time (on :D) writing words that aren't strictly necessary.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The conclusions you reached in your post #5 are correct, LQZ. Here you could omit the "on" or include it. To my mind, omitting it is better because the sentence flows better (one less word), unless, of course, you want to spend your time (on :D) writing words that aren't strictly necessary.
    Thank you very much. :)
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, Fabulist is right. I did mix "with" and "without" up. I make so many little mistakes here and end up confusing the people I'm trying to help. :rolleyes: I also agree that both sentences mean the same, but the original (without "on") sounds better.

    Sorry about the confusion!
     
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    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Yes, Fabulist is right. I did mix "with" and "without" up. I make some many little mistakes here and end up confusing the people I'm trying to help. :rolleyes: I also agree that both sentences mean the same, but the original (without "on") sounds better.

    Sorry about the confusion!
    Tazzler, never say sorry. Here is "thank you" from me for your many-times-help. :)
     
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