Can I use the phrase 'having/taking a shower' as a noun when it supposed to be present simple tense


I wake up then (I) having a shower

Examples that I found:

1 use less water when washing their hands, brushing their teeth, or taking a shower

2 Finishing a good movie, and then having to face the reality of your boring life

3 Let’s go dancing at the club tonight

3.1 Swimming in the ocean has been Sharon’s passion since she was five years old

4 Wearing loose pants while riding a bicycle is dangerous

5 So more eating, more drinking and more taking of photos - many of them painfully embarrassing


Can I use the phrase 'having a shower' instead of have a shower in present simple cases (I wake up then (I) having a shower)?

  • Your I wake up then (I) having a shower is completely ungrammatical regardless of whether you repeat the subject I or not. In principle you could say things like He awoke having a headache or I awoke hearing the alarm clock (these are syntactically valid constructions). But in practice we'd more likely say He awoke with a headache or I awoke to the alarm clock. Aug 23, 2017 at 15:43
  • Of your examples, the only one which is at all similar to the structure in the example is 2. And example 2 is not a complete sentence with a finite verb. It is just a noun phrase, understood to be a subject complement, the subject is implied by the question which is being answered.The twitter game is to suggest questions to which that could be the answer.
    – James K
    Aug 23, 2017 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


No. Your underlying sentence I wake up and then I have a shower consists of two independent clauses. You may delete the repeated subject, but the second clause requires a finite verb.

Note also that I wake up and then I am having a shower is not acceptable either. Whether the simple present I wake up is deployed in a habitual sense ("On weekdays I wake up") or a narrative sense ("The alarm goes off. I wake up."), it is incompatible with a progressive continuation.

  • He can say, "I wake up, then after having a shower I brush my teeth." Aug 23, 2017 at 15:56
  • @SovereignSun- Could it also be "Then, having had a shower..."? But the context is: The first thing I do after I wake up is taking a shower. Why put all eggs in one basket where there is a definite sequence of habitual actions? I mean the sentence you are suggesting. Do you agree?
    – Victor B.
    Aug 23, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    @SovereignSun There, however, the shower is in a subordinate clause. Aug 23, 2017 at 16:28

Can I use the phrase 'having/taking a shower' as a noun

Yes, mostly.

... when it supposed to be present simple tense

No. Gerunds cannot substitute for simple present tense. Note that {form of to be} + ing is a progressive or continuous verb form and not a gerund.

I wake up then (I) having a shower

Couple of problems here:

  • Gerunds don't take subjects. Simplifying things - they kinda-sorta can, but you use object or possessive pronouns instead of subject pronouns. E.g. *Me having a shower was refreshing or My having a shower worried her.

  • X then Y - then joins clauses, not nouns. So Y can't be noun or gerund, but Y can "recycle" head elements from X which can be elided. E.g. I woke up then showered = I woke up then I showered.

  • So something like I went walking then running will work because it's really I went walking then I went running.

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