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York Scene 2 Language Focus

Rob and Stephen enjoy talking about grammar, so stop to watch them discuss verbs followed by gerunds, v-ing, and infinitives, to + verb, as well as chat about too and very.

Watch the video. Then go to Task and do the activities.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hello Lianop,

Yes, that is correct. The -ing form of a verb has many uses, and one of them is 'nominalise' (turn into a noun) a verb -- this is also commonly called a 'gerund'. In both of your example sentences, 'managing' and 'leading' are nouns.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Alyson,

Yes, your analysis is correct. Prepositions (such as 'for') take gerunds after them.

I'm afraid, however, that 'take' doesn't collocate with 'videos'. While we 'take' pictures, we 'make' (or 'shoot') videos.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Alyson,

Yes, those sentences are in the present simple. 'based' is not a past form here, but rather a past participle, which here functions as an adjective, not as a verb.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again Alyson,

Past participles are formed from a verb, but can be used in different ways. For example, they can be part of a perfect verb tense (e.g. 'I have studied'), to form a passive verb (e.g. 'The study was conducted'), and they can also be used as an adjective (e.g. 'I am tired'). Not all past participles can be used in all three ways, but these are three general examples.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell if a past participle is being used in a passive construction (as in my second example) or in a copula (as in my third example) since of course both use the verb 'be' plus the past participle.

In a case like this, I'd recommend testing the sentence by introducing an agent with the word 'by'. If you can do it, then this is a good indication that it's a passive construction. If not, this is a good indication of a copula. 'What are those figures based on by me?', for example, doesn't make sense. 'Are you married by the sheriff?' doesn't work, either. For this reason, in both cases, the past participle functions as an adjective.

One interesting and difficult point is that if you change your second sentence to 'Were you married by the sheriff?', it becomes a grammatically well-formed passive structure. But here the meaning is different from 'Were you married?'. 'Were you married?' is a question about someone's marital status, not about who married them. 'Were you married by the sheriff?', by including 'by the sheriff', shows that it is a question about who performed the marriage and so the sentence is interpreted as a passive.

I hope this helps you get a handle on it.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

In the example " Since I have retired, I really enjoy spending time with my grandchildren'' can we use "to spend"???

I didn't get how to use these forms....is there any general rule...if yes please help me

thank you

Hello sosario1987,

'I really enjoy to spend time' is not correct because the verb 'enjoy' is followed by a noun (e.g. 'I enjoy French films'). When there's a verb, we use the noun form of the verb, which is the -ing form -- that is why 'I enjoy spending time' is correct here.

Different verbs have different verb patterns after them. 'enjoy' is one of many that can be followed by a verb in the -ing form -- you can see more on our verbs followed by -ing clauses page. Other common patterns are for a verb to be followed by a to-infinitive or a 'that' clause.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Alyson,

From one perspective, these are simply idioms that call for an -ing form here. But if you want to try to dig into the grammar a bit, one thing you can do when you have a question like this is make a substitution. E.g., in the place of 'scheduling a meeting' say 'a talk' (which is a noun), e.g. 'How about a talk at lunch time?' The fact that that seems to make sense suggests that the -ing form here is a gerund. We can also say 'how about that?' but not 'how about talk?', which also suggests a noun form is used about 'what about' and 'how about'.

These are not fully-formed questions and so the grammar we find in full questions is not present.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

If you're in London, I recommend _____ a day at the British Museum. This sentence is talking about future, in that case shouldn't we use "to spend" instead of "spending"

Hello MohitB,

In standard British English, the -ing form is used after the verb 'recommend', not the infinitive. Our to + infinitive and -ing forms pages have lists of verbs that are used with those forms. You could also look at the example sentences in the dictionary.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Is there a difference between 'I love to go to the cinema' and 'I love going to the cinema' ?
May be it's better to say 'I'd love to go to the cinema tonight' but is the first sentence has the same meaning as the second one ?

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