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participle vs. bare infinitive



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
Comma After 'That'? | acquaint with
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participle vs. bare infinitive #1 (permalink) Tue Apr 09, 2013 16:47 pm   participle vs. bare infinitive
 

Recently, I took a test on one of the sites of the Net and I am unsure of the key for one test.
I felt someone ... me on the shoulder but when I turned round,there was no one there.

(a) tapping
(b) to tap
(c) tapped
(d) tap

The key (a) is given as a correct answer, as far as I know, either
hear + someone + do or hear + someone + doing is possible. What I am mostly interested is that why the (a) is given as the correct answer, and NOT(!) ---> (d)

Many thanks...
Foreigner
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participle vs. bare infinitive #2 (permalink) Tue Apr 09, 2013 17:31 pm   participle vs. bare infinitive
 

To me the above(d) suggest that the person tapped you in the past . And the action has past and gone.

The (a) suggest the person kept tapping but when you crane your neck you could not see the person.

Besides some people consider these two actions to be the same in meaning.

The (d) could also be the answer.
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Re: participle vs. bare infinitive #3 (permalink) Tue Apr 09, 2013 22:04 pm   Re: participle vs. bare infinitive
 

Foreigner wrote:
I felt someone ... me on the shoulder but when I turned round,there was no one there.

(a) tapping
(b) to tap
(c) tapped
(d) tap


***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

May I add a few words to Mr. Adu's excellent answer?

1. A big grammar book that is used by many teachers gives this example:

a. I saw / heard them shoot at him.
b. I saw / heard them shooting at him.

The book says that (a) suggests a single shot; (b) suggests a repetitive action lasting over a period of time.

2. You say that the "correct" answer is (a). It is only my opinion that the "correct" answer should be (d).

a. I felt someone TAP me on the shoulder, but when I turned around, there was no one there.

i. That is, a friend wanted to play a trick on me. She ran up behind me, tapped me once, and then ran so fast that by the time I had turned around, she was gone.

3. If she had tapped me several times, I would have had time to turn around before she could have run away.

James

Reference: A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk and three other scholars. I have the 1985 edition (pages 238, 1205 and 1206).

P.S. Americans say "around." Some other varieties of English may prefer "round."
James M
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Joined: 15 May 2011
Posts: 2022

participle vs. bare infinitive #4 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 15:12 pm   participle vs. bare infinitive
 

Many thanks, James M for a wonderful explanation!
May I ask you something? I have been observing many times that
every time you have given lots of explanations from that famous book.

If I leave my e-mail, would you please send me this book?..
Foreigner
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Location: Uzbekistan

participle vs. bare infinitive #5 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 15:26 pm   participle vs. bare infinitive
 

The book is very heavy in size and price. However, it's good to possess it. As James says, it is very useful to teachers. And to anglophiles like you, as well.

But I wonder how a book (hard copy) can be sent by email.
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Re: participle vs. bare infinitive #6 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 16:11 pm   Re: participle vs. bare infinitive
 

James M wrote:
1. A big grammar book that is used by many teachers gives this example:

a. I saw / heard them shoot at him.
b. I saw / heard them shooting at him.

The book says that (a) suggests a single shot; (b) suggests a repetitive action lasting over a period of time.

But, James, if you go further, you will find on page 239 that the action described as being in progress is construed as 'possibly incomplete'.

Let me give you my own examples to illustrate the point:

I saw the boy cross the road. (I saw him moving from one side to the other, completely)
I saw the boy crossing the road. (I saw him at some point in time during his crossing the road; may be, at the beginning, in the middle or at the end).
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Anglophile
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Location: India

participle vs. bare infinitive #7 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 17:05 pm   participle vs. bare infinitive
 

To: T.H.

Thank you for your informative comments.

To: Foreigner

Thank you for your note.

1. Believe me. You would not want my copy. It is old (the 1985 edition). And it is in very bad condition, for I have used it so often. The cover has already been torn off. I have also (stupidly) made notes in ink, instead of in pencil.

2. It is intended for language professionals and for those whose fluency is sufficient in order to understand it.

3. Because it is such a huge book (more than 1,000 pages), it is very expensive. I assume that the current edition costs more than $100.

4. When you get time, you may wish to look at a copy in a good library. You can then decide whether you wish to buy such a book at this particular time in your studies.

James
James M
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