The government is working to build 175 GW (giga watt) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, envisaging an estimated investment of $175-180 billion.

Is "envisaging" word used here is gerund or present participle form?

  • 1
    What do you think? This is a very common structure in English. It is a way to avoid a compound or complex sentence. The G. is working to build A, B. C. and envisions an estimated investment of x. The girl sat by the window, sewing a dress. It's a noun phrase introduced by a gerund. The girl sat by the window and was sewing a dress.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


It's a present participle. The word envisaging modifies government. It means that while the government works to build the energy capacity, or somehow in connection with doing that work, the government is also envisaging the amount of the investment. The envisaging clause is like a side comment on the main clause.

This grammatical pattern might be easier to see in a sentence where the main verb is in the past tense:

We drove straight from Los Angeles to Seattle, stopping only for food and restroom breaks.

The main idea in this sentence is that we drove (a car) on this long journey in one continuous trip. The secondary idea, introduced by the present participle is: well, we did make some brief stops for necessities. The present participle is used even though the main verb is in the past, because the action it describes happens concurrently with the action of the main verb. The stopping is actually a slight exception, or retraction, from the main verb, so putting them in the same sentence is very natural. The two actions are entangled with each other.

Here's an example where the main verb is in the simple present tense:

We estimate that the house will take four months to construct, assuming no delays in getting the limestone.

Here, "we" are assuming that there will be no delays—but that's a comment in connection with the main verb, estimate. The present participle indicates that the estimate and the assumption are connected: the estimate will likely be too optimistic if delays do occur.

And here's an example where the main verb is in the present continuous tense:

Graham is investing $400,000 in the new restaurant, expecting to break even in two years.

Again, the present participle expecting modifies Graham, commenting on the main verb. Graham is investing $400,000 with the expectation that he will break even in two years.

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