weep to do something or weep doing something

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roky0071

Member
bangla
1.I wept to see him looking so sick.

2.
I could have wept thinking about what I'd missed.

When will i use "to"(infinitive) and when will i use "ing"(gerund) after the verbs like this? i have read in a grammar book that "to (infinitive)" expresses possibility,potential,hypothetical and future events on the other hand ing (gerund) expresses actual,vivid and fulfilled action but here "I Wept to see him looking so sick" is expressing result i mean I wept cause i saw him looking so sick, i can not see here any potential action. i am very confused.
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Does the grammar book mention anything about the tense of the verb? Does it possibly mean verbs in present tense?

    "wept" is in past tense.

    I am confused too! :confused:
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    You can use either in this case. This '-ing' form is a participle, and not a gerund.

    Arguably, there is omission.

    2. I could have wept on thinking about what I'd missed.

    2. I could have wept when thinking about what I'd missed.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    1. I wept to see him looking so sick.
    2.
    I could have wept thinking about what I'd missed.
    Both of these sentences are grammatically correct and sound quite natural. I don't really understand your question, and I understand the rule from that grammar book even less. I think perhaps you would do well to forget the rule.

    Does anything puzzle you about these sentences? If so, what?
     

    roky0071

    Member
    bangla
    Both of these sentences are grammatically correct and sound quite natural. I don't really understand your question, and I understand the rule from that grammar book even less. I think perhaps you would do well to forget the rule.

    Does anything puzzle you about these sentences? If so, what?
    My question is that why should i use "to" here cause infinitives express future events but in the sentence "I wept to see him looking so sick" it does not expresses any future event instead it expresses completed event like "I wept to see him...." = i did see him so sick so i wept. why should not i use gerund here like I wept seeing him so sick as i found another examples here such as "he was happy doing the work" = he did do the work so he was happy.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My question is that why should i use "to" here cause infinitives express future events but in the sentence "I wept to see him looking so sick" it does not expresses any future event instead it expresses completed event like "I wept to see him...." = i did see him so sick so i wept. why should not i use gerund here like I wept seeing him so sick as i found another examples here such as "he was happy doing the work" = he did do the work so he was happy.
    But this to see doesn't men in order to see - what I think you mean by a cause infinitive.

    I wept to see X
    means I wept when I saw X.

    I wept to see you using lower case i's to mean I. Please stop doing that, Roky.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My question is that why should i use "to" here cause infinitives express future events but in the sentence "I wept to see him looking so sick" it does not expresses any future event instead it expresses completed event
    The infinitive very often expresses a purpose:
    I wept to make sure he gave me some money.

    However, exceptionally, in poetic or literary English, with verbs referring to an expression of an emotional state, we sometimes use the infinitive to express a cause.
    The little dog laughed to see such fun. (Native speaker of English learn this example as young children - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hey_Diddle_Diddle).
    I wept to see him looking so sick.
     
    Last edited:

    roky0071

    Member
    bangla
    The infinitive very often expresses a purpose:
    I wept to make sure he gave me some money.

    However, exceptionally, in poetic or literary English, with verbs referring to an expression of an emotional state, we sometimes use the infinitive to express a cause.
    The little dog laughed to see such fun. (Native speaker of English learn this example as young children - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hey_Diddle_Diddle).
    I wept to see him looking so sick.
    Then can i say "I wept to see him looking so sick" = "I wept seeing him looking so sick"?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    You could. What you cannot do, though, is what you have done repeatedly throughout this thread, and spell the first-person singular pronoun with a lower case "i." The word is I, not i, and must always, always, always be spelled with a capital letter.
     
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