By Reinard Willem Zandvoort
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Additional resources for A Handbook of English Grammar
The tricks() (she diabolical cleverness! Watch him listen, for example. There is no more difficult or less understood art on the stage than this one of listening, and when you have seen Seymour listening, you have seen the whole thing, inside out, upside down, backwards. Beverley Nichols, Twenty-Five, Ch. XXI. 1. Sometimes the distinction is one between completion and incompletion: I saw him walking across the road (on the way across, incomplete); I saw him walk across the road (from one side to the other, complete).
To stay would have been folly. , p. 244. The former does not exactly contain a general statement, but comparison with the latter will show that the character of the infinitive is more definite than that of the gerund. The gerund may have something of the durative character proper to the participle in ing. 1. A careful reader will come across many instances, however, where the distinction attempted here does not apply. Thus in The Squire's Story by Mrs. Gaskell3(Sel. Short Stories, Oxf. Univ. Press, I, p.
Such nouns are called gerunds. 63. In the second place, such words may be used as VERBAL ADJECeither attributively, as in a burning house, playing children, or predicatively, as in the house was burning, the children are playing on the lawn. In this case they are called PRESENT (or IMPERFECT) TIVES, PARTICIPLES. In groups like an amusing story, a charming hostess, a daring attempt, the words in ing are purely adjectival, being synonymous resp. with comical or funny, delightful, and bold. Similarly in predicative use, as in the story was very amusing, she was perfectly charming.
A Handbook of English Grammar by Reinard Willem Zandvoort