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I've read these sentences in my grammar book. And it says "we use I like ... and I don't like+gerund/noun". Example sentences are:

  1. I like being obeyed by my students.
  2. I don't like being laughed at.
  3. I don't like being asked irrelevant questions.

I don't understand it because we can also use the to-infinitive to express like or dislike, for example:

I like to be obeyed by my students.

So, why to use gerunds like above? Could you please tell me about the "being+past participle" form related to gerunds? Is it the passive of the -ing form? If so, how would the sentences look like in active form?

Source: http://www.learnamericanenglishonline.com/Green%20Level/G15%20Gerunds%20Passive.html

  • Regarding gerund and participle, this answer might help, though this answer is not directly related to this question. Here – Man_From_India Oct 2 '16 at 16:27
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    I don't like being laughed at me is probably ungrammatical. You wouldn't want to include me in this sentence. – Damkerng T. Oct 3 '16 at 0:53
  • Please tell us the name of the grammar book in which you read the sentence I don't like being laughed at me. Are you certain that you copied this correctly? – P. E. Dant Oct 3 '16 at 1:08
  • Your grammar book says I like being laughed at me correct? Which book is it, by the way? – Man_From_India Oct 3 '16 at 1:10
  • The second part of this question is identical to the one you asked yesterday: ell.stackexchange.com/q/105335/37009 . – P. E. Dant Oct 3 '16 at 1:14
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  1. I like being obeyed by my students.
    I like to be obeyed by my students.
    Both okay, second version better.

  2. I don't like being laughed at me.
    I don't like to be laughed at me.
    Remove "me", then both fine, second a little better.

  3. I don't like being asked irrelevant questions.
    I don't like to be asked irrelevant questions.
    Both fine, second better.

The first versions are just a little unnatural because of the continuous (-ing). No big deal, though.

What would the sentences look like in active form?

  1. I like it when my students obey me. (I like it when my students are obeying me. See what I mean? The continuous is a little weird here.)

  2. I don't like it when someone laughs at me.

  3. I don't like it when someone asks me irrelevant questions.

Note that in all three, "it" can be omitted.

  • I found this "like/prefer+Verb ing form" in grammar book and it says it's gerunds.It also says being+p.p" as a passive gerunds is comman usage but I Don know why you say it's unnatural.But I haven't understood this passive gerunds form mentioned in my above sentences.Could you please explain the usage ? – yubraj Oct 2 '16 at 4:51
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    @yubrajsharma - If you are asking specifically about some text that you read, the best would be to include a link to the source, in your question, if possible, or type up the relevant portion of the text. That will make it easier for us to target the answer to exactly what is on your mind. – J. Doe Oct 2 '16 at 19:00
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The verb "to like" is perfectly happy with either gerund or infinitive objects, with no real difference in grammatical or semantic relationships.  Not every verb is quite so flexible.

The first example on the page that you have cited is "She enjoys being photographed."  Even though "to like" and "to enjoy" have similar meanings, "to enjoy" is not happy with infinitive objects.  To the native ear, the sentence "She enjoys to be photographed" sounds foreign, awkward, or just plain wrong.

Another verb that is less flexible than "to like" is "to want".  In this case, infinitives are good objects. "I want to be understood" sounds perfectly natural, but "I want being understood" sounds bad.

These objects themselves, the infinitives and gerunds both, have nothing to do with expressing preference.  The verbs handle that.  The verbs also govern the kinds of arguments that they take.

 

The infinitives and gerunds in question happen to be passive.  There do exist active voice versions of each.  The active -ing form (which is used for both gerunds and so-called present participles) is simply that -- the -ing form.  The active voice equivalent of "being photographed" is "photographing".  The active infinitive form is, well, just the infinitive form.  The active voice equivalent of "to be photographed" is "to photograph".

In both cases, the passive is constructed from the appropriate form of "to be" with a so-called past participle -- doing or being done, to do or to be done.

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