to hope to get vs. to getting (infinitive vs. gerund)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by xeneise73, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. xeneise73 Senior Member

    Córdoba (Spain)
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Hi, I'm not sure about this rule..
    After using "Present Perfect" can we use and infinitive, present continuous...both?..(I mean not at the same time)..Does it depend on the context?..any specific word?
    For instance (my doubt comes from the following sentence)

    I have given up hope ["to get" or "to getting"] a job before the end of the year.

    I would go with "to get" but I wanna know if the use of a gerund in that sentence (or any other after a present perfect) is right or wrong.
  2. SpyroNinja Member

    New York City
    English, New York
    I have given up hope of getting a job.

    "I have given up hope of to get a job" would be ungrammatical. I think the rule is this:

    [present perfective] + [participle] + [infinitive]

    I have tried to sleep.
    She has had to do this before.

    "I have given up hope" is an not the same because "given" is a verb which takes a noun. In fact, "of getting a job" is not necessary for the sentence to be grammatical; it is extra information that modifies "hope." (It specificies the type of hope; it is hope of getting a job, not hope in general or hope of winning a race e.g.)
  3. xeneise73 Senior Member

    Córdoba (Spain)
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Many thanks Spyroninja, ..and by giving 2 examples you have been very clear.
    Thanks for your help
  4. xeneise73 Senior Member

    Córdoba (Spain)
    Spanish (Argentina)
    However, in that sentence (as you say)
    Present perfect followed by gerund (took note of the preposition)..
    So, the rule depends on the word writen right after the present perfect? (in this case: hope)
  5. SpyroNinja Member

    New York City
    English, New York
    Yes, it depends on the verb. "To give" (and "to give up") must take an object; in your case, it is hope. Maybe I can make it clearer by replacing the object:

    I have given up hope (of getting a job).
    I have given up my old habit (of biting my nails).
    I have given up the orange (to my daughter).

    All the prepositional phrases in parentheses are not necessary for grammaticality, they simply add more information to the object. I think this is where you are confused, because in your original sentence, "of getting a job" is a prepositional phrase that acts like an adjective. The real structure of the sentence is very straightforward.

    subject auxiliary-verb content-verb object (extra information)
    I have given up hope (of getting a job).
    I have eaten the apple (from the garden).

    Do you see how they are similar?

    Because gerunds are nouns, the object can also be a gerund:

    I have given up smoking.

    But it cannot be "I have given up hope to smoking" because there are two objects (hope and smoking) "to give up" only has one object.

    I really hope this makes things clearer and not more confusing.
  6. xeneise73 Senior Member

    Córdoba (Spain)
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Yes spyroninja, It does!!
    Thank you for your post, it has been very helpful !!!

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