Watch her fall/falling?

  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It probably does not matter much as you give no context.

    What did you do as you saw this? Did you pick her up from the floor, or did you stop her falling?
     

    Ashraful Haque

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    It probably does not matter much as you give no context.

    What did you do as you saw this? Did you pick her up from the floor, or did you stop her falling?
    I didn't see her falling. She feel out of bed and I ran to her and picked her up from the floor.

    Please let me know what difference it would make if I had seen her falling.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I didn't see her falling. She feel out of bed and I ran to her and picked her up from the floor.
    'It was painful to watch her fall/falling out of bed like that.'
    If you did not see her, how did you watch her?:rolleyes:


    The -ing form of the verb always indicates an action that was incomplete at the time mentioned - the process of the action is on-going.

    All simple forms of the verb indicate an action as a whole - from start to finish.
    The simple form of the verb can indicate a habitual or regular action that
    (i) is/was/will be complete/completed each time it is undertaken. ->
    A: What do you do to keep fit?
    B: I ride a bike. -> “ride” includes everything from getting on the bike at the start of the journey to getting off the bike at the end.

    Or
    (ii) a single, complete or completed present, future, or past action:
    He told me that I had to visit the Eiffel Tower, so I go/went/will go to Paris on Wednesday” -> “go/went/will go” includes everything from the decision being made, bags being packed, going to the airport, etc., to the arrival in Paris.


    All continuous participles indicate an action (or a regular, frequent or habitual series of action) that is in progress and was not complete at the time referred to. The action is happening at the time referred to.

    The continuous form of the verb indicates
    (i) an action that is/was incomplete and in progress at the time that is being referred to (it has started but it has not yet finished) ->
    I will be/am/was/have been/had been riding a bike = I will be/am/was/have been/had been in the process of riding a bike but have not yet finished riding the bike at the time I am referring to.

    The continuous form used to be known as “the imperfect”: It was called “imperfect” because the action had not been “perfected” i.e. it had not finished.

    OED 5. Grammar. Applied to a tense which denotes action going on but not completed; usually [edit Q- but not always] to the past tense of incomplete or progressive action.

    1871 H. J. Roby Gram. Latin Lang. §549 Three [tenses] denoting incomplete action; the Present, Future, and Imperfect (sometimes called respectively, present imperfect, future imperfect, past imperfect).
     
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