I often encounter statments where "ing" form isn't used. I wonder if "ing" form is incorrect in that context. For Example:

Watch me play.(i.e Piano)

instead of

Watch me playing.

I see it usually but couldn't understand what's the difference between them or if anyone is wrong. More examples

You are going to hear me roar.

I grew up watch his movies...

I saw birds do these kind of things on hill.

  • 3
    "I grew up watch his movies" is not correct. That's one case where you should use the -ing form. (Correct version: "I grew up watching his movies.")
    – soapergem
    Jan 12, 2017 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


Verbs of perception like see, hear, watch, feel take both -ing-form and bare infinitival clauses as complements, but there is a slight difference of aspect between them:

  • The infinitival complement implies that what is perceived is a completed action.

    He watched me play means that he watched until I was finished playing.

  • The -ing-form complement implies that the action continues while it is perceived, but is not necessarily finished during that period.

    He watched me playing means that he watched for some time while I played, but implicates that he stopped some time before I finished.

Your example I grew up watch his movies, however, is ungrammatical. Grow up is not a verb of perception and does not take bare infinitival complements. It takes marked infinitival complements, which describe an outcome of growing up, and subjectless -ing-form adjuncts, which describe actions and states of the person growing up during that period.

I grew up to watch his movies means that you watched his movies after you grew up—perhaps you knew him when you were a child but didn't realize he was a famous actor until later.

I grew up watching his movies means that you watched his movies while you were growing up.

A bare infinitival clause is one headed by an infinitive which is not marked with to.

Implicates is a technical term for having a 'default' meaning which may in fact be contradicted.


I am no good at grammar and cannot tell you why. The words inside the parentheses are not necessary but are fine to use.

"I am playing (the) piano." This is what I am doing now.

"I play (the) piano." I know how to play the piano, but not playing it now. (Unless you are showing me and saying "Of course I play (the) piano."

I grew up watch his movies..

That just doesn't sound right. "I grew up watching his movies." "I watch movies", means I watch movies in general. "I eat cake" -- same thing. I eat cake means I like cake and I will eat it. "I am eating cake", means I am doing this at this moment.

Your other examples all work.

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