The verbal and nominal features of the Gerund



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The verbal and nominal features of the Gerund



The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features. It is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb.

The grammatical meaning of the gerund is that of a process. Thus to some extent it competes with nouns of verbal origin, e.g. translating -translation, describing - description, arriving - arrival, perceiving - perception, helping - help. Nouns, however, tend to convey the fact or the result of an action, which in certain circumstances may be something material, whereas gerunds convey the idea of action or process itself.

 

Show me your translation: it is neatly done, and there, are no mistakes in it.

You will enrich your vocabulary by translating from English into Russian and vice versa.

 

If the meaning of the gerund is nearly the same as that of the noun, the former emphasizes the process, and the latter - the fact:

 

Thank you for helping me.

Thank you for your help.

 

It is natural that the verbal character of the gerund is more prominent in transitive verbs, owing to their combinability and their passive forms.

Morphologically the verbal character of the gerund is manifested in the categories of voice and perfect (see table V) and syntactically in its combinability. Thus the gerund may combine: a) with a noun or pronoun as direct, indirect or prepositional object, depending on the verb it is formed from; b) with an adjective or a noun as a predicative; c) with an infinitive.

Gerunds can be modified by adverbs and prepositional phrases function­ing as adverbial modifiers.

 

Gerund Finite verb
I remember your telling me the story five years ago.   It’s no use arguing about trifles.   John dreams of becoming a sailor.   There is some chance of his being able to join us.   We enjoyed walking slowly along the silent streets. You told me the story five years ago.   I never argue about trifles.   John became a sailor.   We hope he will be able to join us.   We walked slowly along the silent streets.

 

The nominal character of the gerund reveals itself syntactically, mainly in its syntactical function, partly in its combinability.

 

Like a noun, it can function as subject, object, or predicative.

 

Seeing you is always a pleasure. (subject)

I remember seeing you somewhere. (object)

I am thinking of seeing the film again. (prepositional object)

Peter’s hobby is seeing all new films. (predicative)

 

When it is an attribute or an adverbial modifier, a gerund, like a noun is preceded by a preposition.

 

There is a chance of catching the train.

Don’t forget to call me up before leaving London.

I reached my goal in spite of there being every reason against it.

 

The fact that the gerund can associate with a preposition is a sure sign of noun features.

Like a noun, but unlike the other non-finites, it can combine with a possessive pronoun and a noun in the genitive case denoting the doer of the action expressed by the gerund.

 

Excuse my interrupting you.

I insist on John’s staying with us.

 

It combines with the negative pronoun no in the idiomatic construction of the type: There is no getting out of it.

 

The grammatical categories of the Gerund. The category of perfect. The category of voice.

The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features; is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. Gram categ: perfect/ non-per, voice (flying, seeing). Non-per denotes action simultaneous with that expressed by finite v (You (ll) enrich(ed) your voc by translating from E to R). Per denotes action prior to action denoted by finite v (I (ll) remember(ed) having met you there). Non-per may denote prior action after v of recollection, gratitude, blame, reproach, punishment, reward (I remember meeting him there. He’s appreciate your helping); with on, after it suggests immediate priority (After thinking it over he decided to go. On returning home he called his mother). Non-per expresses succeeding action after v, adjectives, prepositions implying reference to future event (intend, insist, object, suggest, look forward to, plan, intention, hope,), after before (He suggested staying at home. We’ll discuss this problem before his coming. There’s a plan of leaving the city). G of transitive v can form passive; active points out action is directed from subject, passive - action is directed towards subject (I like watching people. I hate being watched. On leaving the room he went to the bar. On being left alone she started crying). After need, want, require, deserve & worth we use active G with passive meaning (The book is worth reading. The car needs repairing)

 

 

Syntactical functions of the Gerund. The Gerund as subject, predicative, part of the compound verbal predicate.

The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features; is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. It may function without modifiers (I like swimming), as the headword of G phrase (I like playing football), as part of G predicat constr (I like his playing football). A gerundial construction contains possessive pronoun, noun in Р.п denoting the doer of the action expressed by G (I appreciate your helping us. I remember Mary’s meeting with him). Subj; stands in front position (Walking slowly makes him feel free. Knitting is her hobby); with introductory it, when predicate is phrase such as be (of) no use (no good, useless), make all the (no) difference (It’s no use doing it. It’ll make no difference your helping). Predicexpresses characterization/ identity (Her hobby is singing. His wish is seeing father every day). Comp v phasal predwith v begin, burst out, start, continue, give up, go on, finish, stop (It started raining. I finished writing the novel. I continued sleeping)

 

The Gerund as object. The verbs that are always followed by the Gerund.

The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features; is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. After following monotrasitive v & adj worth G as direct obj: admit, appreciate, avoid, deny, detest, enjoy, excuse, fancy, imagine, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practice, put off, recollect, resent, resist, risk, suggest, understand, can’t help, can’t stand (Do you mind my coming late? I know the film worth watching. I appreciate your helping). V followed by G/ inf: have, forget, intend, like, plan, prefer, remember, regret, can’t bear, can’t afford (I prefer listening to classic music. I remember your telling me this). After v taking obj, objective predicative, G/ G phrase/ constr is preceded by introduct obj it (I found it strange your missing the train. I think it no use your arguing with me)

 

 

The Gerund as prepositional object.

The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features; is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. As preposit obj G may follow monotransitive preposit v: agree/ object to, count/ depend/ rely on, hear/ learn/ think of, persist/ consist/ succeed in (It depends on your timely coming. I think of going abroad); ditransitive v taking direct, preposit object: accuse/ suspect of, prevent/ stop from, assist/ help in, thank/ blame/ punish for (I have no difficulty in passing the driving test. I’ll help you in looking for a nanny); adjectives, statives: be afraid/ aware/ capable/ fond of, be proud/ sure of, be sorry about, be responsible for (Parents are responsible for their child growing. I’m proud of your wining); participle II: be used to, be surprised at, be tired of, be pleased with/ at (I was surprised at your coming. I’m pleased with being recognized)

 

The Gerund as attribute.

The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features; is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. It modifies nouns (abstract); preceded by preposit of (There’s a chance of catching the train. I have an idea of going to the caffee. She has an intention of getting the 2nd educ); preposit depends on requirements of modified noun (I surprised at seeing you. She has a skill in drawing); when it modifies concrete noun it’s preceded by for, it expresses purpose/ destination of thing mentioned (A car is a vehicle for driving. The thermometer is an instr for measuring the temperature); may precede noun it modifies (dancing master, reading lamp, working method, swimming pool)



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