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ING COMPLEMENTS One of the problems always present when discussing the Participle and the Gerund is the

fact that both of these moods have the same ending: -ing. This makes it sometimes difficult for us to differentiate between them. Due to this situation, we shall have to point out the specific features of each construction. Let us start with the Participle: 8.1. The Participle The first distinction to be made here is that between present participle and past participle. These are the tenses of this mood and they differ in point of ending: the present participle ends in ing and makes the object of our discussion. The past participle ends in en (or -ed) and will be marginally tackled in this section. Let us now see the main contexts where we can identify participial forms: 8.1.1. Participial Constructions The main context in which the present participle appears is when it is part of a continuous tense form: (1) Susan is sleeping. (Susan doarme.) In (1) the ing form that appears within the Present Continuous VP (verb phrase) is a present participle. This fact is also true of past participle forms and perfect or passive verb phrases: (2) a. Susan has come. (A venit Susan) b. Susan has been killed. In (2) the forms come, been and killed are past participle forms. A context where the present participle frequently appears is when it is combined with a noun phrase and has a modifying function, i.e. it functions attributively. Here we have two situations: a) when it appears before the noun in question: (3) The running man is my boss. (Omul care alearg este eful meu.) b) when it appears after the noun in question: (4) The man running on the track is my boss. (Omul care alearg pe pist este eful meu.) As you can see in this second case, the participle may be accompanied by additional complements (on the track). This situation is also characteristic for past participles, especially when they are placed in front of the nominal and appear in compounds:

(5) His clean-shaved face was shining in the moonlight. (Faa lui bine brbierit strlucea n lumina lunii.) More infrequently, the past participle can appear after a noun, too: (6) Her eye-lids, blood-shot and painted, were closing. (I se nchideau pleoapele injectate i date cu fard.) The participle can also frequently appear as an adverbial and here we can notice two situations: a) when it has no expressed logical subject (7) a. Arriving here, they started singing. (adverbial of time) (Sosind aici, ncepur s cnte.) b. Knowing who the guy was, she ran away. (adverbial of reason) (tiind cine era el, ea o lu la fug.) c. When singing, people should pay attention to high notes. (adverbial of time + time conjunction) (Atunci cnd cnt, oamenii trebuie s fie ateni la notele nalte.) d. If provoked, a lion can attack. (adverbial of condition + conditional conjunction) (Dac este provocat, leul poate s atace.) b) when it has an expressed logical subject : the Absolute Participle (8) a. God willing, I will arrive there on time. (adverbial of condition) (Cu voia lui Dumnezeu, o s ajung la timp.) b. Weather permitting, I will arrive there on time. (adverbial of condition) (Dac vremea mi permite, o s ajung la timp.) c. Oh, he will eventually marry her, mother permitting. (adverbial of condition) (Se va cstori pn la urm cu ea dac maic-sa i d voie.) The logical subjects in (8) are God and weather, respectively. This construction is called the Absolute Participle after the model of Latin where there is the Absolute Ablative an elliptical construction made up of nouns and non-finite forms in the Ablative, which stands for an adverbial clause. The participle may also appear in the so-called independent participial constructions: i. Nominative + Present / Past Participle (9) a. He was found stealing. (L-au descoperit c fur.) b. He was found killed by a bullet. (L-au gsit ucis de un glonte.) ii. (10) Accusative + Present / Past Participle a. I found him stealing. (L-am descoperit furnd.)

b. They found him killed by a bullet. (L-au gsit ucis de un glonte.) Let us make up a list of verbs and adjectives that require the presence of the independent participial constructions: a) Verbs requiring Nominative and Accusative + Present Participle Verbs of physical perception: see, hear, smell, watch, behold, notice, perceive (11) I felt her trembling. (Am simit-o tremurnd.) (12) He was noticed crying. (A fost vzut plngnd.) Causative verbs: get, have, set, start, keep, send, leave, etc. a. Ill have you all speaking fluent English soon. (O s v fac s vorbii toi curnd o englez bun.) b. Hell soon get things going. (O s pun repede lucrurile n micare.) c. He was sent rolling by the heavy blow. (Lovitura l-a trimis nvrtindu-se.)


mental perception verbs: remember, recollect, find, etc.: Imagine him saying a thing like that. (nchipuiete-i-l spunnd una ca asta.)


b) Verbs requiring Nominative and Accusative + Past Participle Verbs of physical perception: see, hear, feel, etc.: (15) a. I heard it said that men are a bore. (Am auzit spunndu-se c brbaii sunt plicticoi.) b. He was seen covered in mud from head to toe. (L-au vzut acoperit de noroi din cap pna n picioare.) verbs of mental perception: imagine, confess, know, recollect, etc.: When she heard his words, she knew herself dismissed. (Cnd i-a auzit cuvintele i-a dat seama c a concediat-o.)


Causative verbs: get , have, make a. I must get my hair cut. (Trebuie s m duc s m tund.) b. You must get get that leg of yours taken care of. (Trebuie s te duci la doctor s i ngrijeti piciorul.)


verbs of permission, command I ordered my bill made out.


(I-am spus chelnerului s-mi aduc nota.) Verbs of liking and disliking a. Men like shopping made easy. (Brbailor le place s termine repede cu cumprturile.) b. He wanted his car fixed immediately. (Dorea s-i fie reparat maina imediat.)


8.1.2. Characteristics of Participial Forms The main property participles have in opposition to gerundial forms is the verbal quality of these structures. Unlike the gerund, the participle has no nominal properties whatsoever. We shall enlarge upon this point in the section on gerunds. A second differentiating feature is the frequency with which the participle appears as a modifier or as an adverbial. The only contexts in which the participle functions as an object is when it is part of the independent participial constructions (i.e. Nominative or Accusative + Participle). The participle lacks tense but exhibits: aspectual features: (20) Having seen this, I left. (Vznd acestea, am plecat.) Voice (can appear in the passive)

(21) Having been noticed by the teacher, I left. (Dup ce m-a remarcat profesorul, am plecat.) A nominative subject (in absolute participial constructions)

(22) God willing, the rain will stop. (Cu voia lui Dumnezeu, se va opri i ploaia.) A conjunction to precede it optionally (23) Although not knowing the language, she enjoyed her trip to Spain. (Desi nu tia limba, a avut parte de o excursie plcut n Spania.) 8.2. The Gerund 8.2.1. A Classification of Gerundial Forms We classify gerunds, function of the presence or absence of a logical subject within the gerundial structure. According to this criterion, one can distinguish between: a) gerunds without an expressed logical subject: (24) PRO seeing is PRO believing. (Dac vezi, crezi.)

b) gerunds with an expressed logical subject: This class of gerunds can be further split into two subclasses: the full gerund (or the possessive ING) (25) (26) Johns coming here was a mistake. (Venirea lui John aici a fost o greeal.) the half gerund (or the Accusative ING) It all depends on him coming here. (Totul depinde de venirea lui aici.)

We call the first subclass of b) possessive ING because of the genitive form in which the logical subject appears. Likewise, the second subclass bears the name Accusative + ING due to the case of the logical subject within the gerund. If there are two possibilities with class b) it means that there must be some differences between them. The main difference lies in the fact that the accusative + ing is more like a clause whereas the possessive -ing looks more like a nominal. How do we know that? Answer: By looking at the way these constructions agree with the main clause verbs when coordinated: The possessive -ing in a compound subject agrees with the verb in the plural, just as it happens with any normal compound subject made up of two nominal phrases: (27) a. His winning and your losing were both surprising. (M-a surprins faptul c el a ctigat i tu ai pierdut.) b. His victory and your defeat were both surprising. (M-au surprins n egal msur victoria lui i nfrngerea ta.)

Coordinated accusative + ing requires a singular verb, just as it happens with coordinated Subject that clauses: (28) a. Him winning and you losing was surprising. (M-a surprins faptul c el a ctigat i tu ai pierdut.) b. That he won and you lost was surprising. (M-a surprins faptul c el a ctigat i tu ai pierdut.)

8.2.2. Characteristics of Gerunds In the previous subsection on participles I was saying that participles have [+ verbal] features, whereas gerunds have [ + verbal ] and [ + nominal ] features. In that, gerunds differ from participles. Consider the following table, where ING structures are ordered according to their main features. Notice that part of the table is left incomplete. [+ verb] [+ verb, + noun] [+noun]



Below we offer a few reasons why participles are seen as [+ verb]: 1. Participles look more like clauses and more often than not are translated by means of a clause: (29) I saw him smiling and was surprised. (L-am vzut c zmbete i am fost surprins.)

Unlike participles, gerunds look more like noun phrases and are often translatable by means of a noun phrase: (30) His slapping Susan terrified the audience. (Faptul c a plmuit-o pe Susan a ngrozit publicul.)

2. An important characteristic of gerunds is that they do not normally extrapose (if you remember, extraposition is one of the main syntactic features that characterizes that clauses, which are seen as [+ verb] structures): (31) a. It was illegal to grow a beard. (Nu era legal s-i lai barb.) b. *It was illegal growing a beard.

In (31) extraposition is possible with infinitives but not with gerunds. (31 b) is ungrammatical because we get a double subject construction. This behaviour of gerunds concerning extraposition resembles that of relative clauses which are themselves very similar in behaviour to noun phrases. Consider (32), which proves that extraposed relative clauses give birth to ungrammatical structures because of the double-subject restriction: (32) *It was illegal what she said.

A conclusion to this discussion is represented under the table below. A similarity is thus drawn between that clauses and participles, as being verbal in nature, and between relative clauses and gerunds as being more nominal in nature: That clauses Participles Relative clauses Gerunds

There are very few exceptions to the extrapositon restriction under which gerunds are. The examples we can offer are analysed as idiomatic phrases: (33) a. Its no use crying over spilt milk. (proverb) (Mortul de la groap nu se mai ntoarce.) b. Its no good talking to her.

(N-are sens s vorbeti cu ea.) 3. Just like in the case of noun phrases, gerunds can be combined with Prepositions: (34) a. She was surprised at his knowing the business so well. (Era uimit de ct de bine tia el dedesubturile afacerii.) b. He looked at their wrestling on the muddy floor. (S-a uitat cum se lupta pe podeaua nnoroiat.)

8.2.3. Participles vs. Gerunds After discussing the characteristics of gerunds, it would be very useful for us to have a look at differences between participles and gerunds, as offered in the table below: PARTICIPLES GERUNDS [+ verb] [+ verb, + noun] 1. Participles can be part of tense forms: continuous , perfect, passive ones She was crying. 2. Participles may be preceded by Gerunds may be preceded by prepositions: conjunctions: While sleeping, babies suck their thumb. She waited for his coming home. 3. Participles may function as adverbials: Coming here, he built himself a house. (adverbial of time) Gerunds do not function as adverbials with few exceptions: She angered him by stealing his project.

4. Participles do not function as objects unless they appear in dependent constructions: I saw her crying. (Accusative + Participle) 5. Participles may function as attributes and are paraphrasable by who/that/which isVerb + ing: the walking man = the man who is walking the flying fish = the fish which is flying 8.3. The Verbal Noun

Gerunds function as direct and prepositional objects: She started crying. (direct object clause) She was interested in him marrying her. (prepositional object clause) Gerunds may function as attributes but are paraphrasable by means of the preposition for: the walking stick = stick used for walking the flying saucer = saucer used for flying

The verbal noun is here placed in opposition with the gerund. The verbal noun is an ING form but is not part of non-finite forms: it is part of the nominal system, as it is a noun phrase which just happens to look like a gerund or participle. But how can we tell when an ING form is a verbal noun? Compare: (35) The shooting of the attacker was an ugly episode. (Uciderea celui care i atacase era un episod urt.)

to (36)

Shooting the attacker was an ugly episode. (Uciderea celui care i atacase era un episod urt.)

Although the meaning of the two underlined structures is similar, they differ formally: The first sentence contains a verbal noun, which can be identified by: - The presence of the (i.e. the determiner) - The presence of the of phrase (i.e. of the attacker) - The fact that the ing form can be combined with an adjective: The cruel shooting of the attacker The second sentence contains a gerund due to : - The absence of a determiner like the, a - The absence of an of phrase, but the presence of a direct object (i.e. the attacker) - The possibility of its combination with an adverb: Shooting the attacker cruelly The problem with verbal nouns and gerunds is that they are both ended in ING and can take a possessive: Georges shooting of the attacker vs. Georges shooting the attacker. The test that always helps you out of trouble is that of combining these constructions with an adjective or an adverbial: The first construction takes an adjective: Georges cruel shooting of the attacker, whereas the second structures takes an adverb: Georges shooting the attacker cruelly. This means that the first structure is a verbal noun while the second is a gerund. GERUNDS can combine VERBAL NOUNS can with an adverb combine with an adjective Shuffling the cards quickly The quick shuffling of cards

Sometimes the verbal noun can appear without its of phrase: (37) His beautiful singing was a blessing to everyone. (Faptul c tia s cnte aa de frumos era o binecuvntare.)

In (37) there are two verbal nouns: his beautiful singing and a blessing. How can we tell? In the first case, we can identify the verbal noun by means of the adjective that accompanies it. In the second situation, the verbal noun blessing is accompanied by a determiner which is an indefinite article. These are features that normally characterize any noun. Thus, if we were to go back to our incomplete table, we could safely fill in the blank space with the following information: [+ verb] [+ verb, + noun] [+noun]

Participles (After) shooting the sheriff, Jim left quietly. They saw him shooting the sheriff. This shooting star is very large.

Gerunds Jims suddenly shooting the sheriff alerted the whole town. Are you still interested in shooting the sheriff? What is your opinion about the new shooting gallery?

Verbal nouns Jims/the sudden shooting of the sheriff alerted the whole town.

8.4. ING Forms and Infinitives. The aim of this subsection is mainly to help you better understand why those verbs or adjectives that can be combined both with gerunds and with infinitives have a different meaning in each case. It has been noticed that, whenever a verb can appear both with an infinitive and with a gerund, the meaning is different. However, we can trace a common feature for all these special verbs. All of them change their meaning according to the grammatical information offered by the construction they are followed by. For instance, whenever we meet an ing form, we expect it to have something to do with an event that has already happened (and then we are dealing with a gerund) or is happening (and we are looking at a participle). With the infinitive, we expect it to refer to something that might happen or that is going to take place. Look, for example, at the following: (38) He saw Susan crossing the street. (A vzut-o pe Susan traversnd strada.) as opposed to (39) He saw Susan cross the street. (A vzut cum Susan a traversat strada.) The difference in meaning is well expressed by the Romanian translation and is motivated by what each form means: - the ing form ( a participle) expresses something still happening ( so the guy in the example is watching Susan as she advances across the street) - the infinitival form (a bare infinitive) by opposition with the participle suggests that we are watching the whole event of the crossing of the street (so the guy in the example has watched the entire crossing) Another example, and the most well-known one, is that of the verb stop: Compare: (40) She stopped to eat a sandwich. (S-a oprit s mannce un sandwich.) to (41) She stopped eating a sandwich.

(S-a oprit din mncat.) The first example, containing an infinitive, suggests the fact that the eating of the sandwich is going to take place (the potential, future-oriented value of the infinitive). The second example containing a gerund suggests the fact that the eating of the sandwich had already commenced and was then interrupted (the gerund expresses an event happening in the past, prior to the one expressed by the main clause verb.) After looking at this example, we can notice that in most cases the gerund expresses something that has already happened, anterior to the verb in the main clause. On the other hand, the infinitive expresses something that is yet to happen, posterior to the verb in the main clause: while the gerund is past-oriented, the infinitive is futureoriented. This is exactly why the Perfect form of the gerund (e.g. having left) is infrequently used in English. Compare (42) (43) She remembered having posted the letter earlier in the morning. She remembered posting the letter earlier in the morning. (i-a amintit c a pus scrisoarea la pot n cursul dimineii.)

As you can see, both sentences are translated the same in Romanian, which means that they are similar in meaning. The fact that both (42) and (43) have the same meaning indicates that the gerund no longer needs to specify anteriority by means of a perfect form (i.e. having posted) since it already expresses the idea of anteriority in its simple form. This is why the perfect gerund is nowadays an indication of educated speech (and will be mostly found in literary language). Let us now follow this line of thought which traces an opposition between the semantics of the gerund and that of the infinitive. We will examine other verbs like the ones we have already mentioned under (40) and (41), i.e. verbs that can be followed both a gerund and an infinitive (but with a significant change in meaning): a) Remember, recollect, forget (44) She remembers filling the tank with petrol. (i-aduce aminte c a umplut rezervorul cu benzin.)

versus (45) Remember to fill the tank with petrol. (Adu-i aminte s umpli rezervorul cu benzin.) The example with the gerund suggests that the filling of the tank has already happened; the example with the infinitive suggests that the filling of the tank is going to happen. b) Regret (46) I regret filling the tank with petrol. (mi pare ru c am umplut rezervorul cu benzin.)

versus (47) I regret to fill the tank with petrol, but thats it.


(mi pare ru c o s umplu rezervorul cu benzin, dar asta este.) The example with the gerund suggests that the filling of the tank has already happened; the example with the infinitive suggests that the filling of the tank is going to happen. c) Try (48) I tried filling the tank with petrol and then I did some car washing. (nti am ncercat s m ocup cu umplerea rezervorului cu benzin, apoi m-am ocupat de splarea mainilor.) versus (49) I tried to fill the tank with petrol but found it no easy job. (Am ncercat s umplu rezervorul cu benzin, ns nu mi s-a prut treab uoar.) The first example implies the fact that the guy there has already filled the tank with petrol several times. In the second example, the petrol tank is not filled yet, the action is not completed. d) Mean (50) I mean to tell her the truth. (Am de gnd s-i spun adevrul.) versus (51) This means revealing her all my secrets. (Asta nseamn s-i dezvlui toate secretele mele.) In the first example, the event has not happened yet, it is bound to happen as a result of the subjects intentions. In the second example, mean has the sense signify. e) need, want With [+ human] objects, these verbs are used in combination with the infinitive: (52) He wants / needs to learn English. (Vrea / trebuie s nvee englez.)

With [- human] objects, they can be combined with the gerund and acquire the same interpretation as when they are followed by a passive infinitive: (51) a. The house needs repairing. (Casa trebuie reparat.) b. The house needs to be repaired. (Casa trebuie reparat.) f) go on (53) versus He goes on reading from that cheap novel. (Continu s citeasc din romanul acela ieftin.)


(54) After he talked about his plans he went on to talk about his daughters wedding. (Dup ce a vorbit despre planurile lui, s-a apucat s vorbeasc despre nunta fiicei sale.) In the first case we understand that the event of reading has already begun, whereas in the second case, the event of becoming a lawyer is yet to happen. 8.5. Key Concepts In this subsection we have dealt with ING forms. We made an important distinction between ING complements (which appear either as Present Participles or as Gerunds) and Verbal Nouns. The main difference between Present Participles and Gerunds lies in their special features. Participles mainly function as adverbials, whereas gerunds function mainly as subjects/objects. The common function these two structures share is that of attribute but the similarity is deceptive, since paraphrase can correctly identify which is which. Another special feature is which elements these two structures can be preceded by: a preposition for gerunds and a conjunction for participles. There are also important differences between gerunds and verbal nouns, although one can mistake them due to the fact that both forms can combine with a possessive nominal. The main test of disambiguation is that of combining the two forms with either an adverb (for the gerund) or an adjective (for the verbal noun). Last but not least, dont forget that certain verbs can take both ING forms and infinitives after them but the meaning changes according to the main shade of meaning each of the aforementioned constructions exhibits.