1

What is the meaning of 'of + ~ing' in the following sentence,

"The quickest way of contacting the police station is to use your cellphone."

Does it mean

"The quickest way that we contact the police station is to use your cellphone"

or

"The quickest way for us to contact the police station is to use your cellphone"

or

"The quickest way of us to contact the police station is to use your cellphone"

?

Does "of + ~ ing" have the meaning of an omitted subject not in the sentence?

2

English is notorious for using the -ing ending (which normally denotes something being done in the present progressive tense) in place if the verb's infinitive form. The sentence would most accurately be read as:

"The quickest way to contact the police station is to use your cellphone."

It should also be noted that the your in "to use your cellphone." is also impersonal (in colloquial English). The #1 most literal version of the sentence would be:

"The quickest way for one to contact the police station would be to use their cellphone."

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.