5

We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches, and moved/moving among the fur seals, without bothering them.

In this sentence, which is right, one of them or both of them? I think only moved is right, but someone argues that moving is also right.

  • 4
    None. Just 'move' is correct. – CinCout Oct 13 '17 at 3:14
  • 3
    If you would like to use moving, you would need to get rid of and. This would make the entire second half of the sentence a participial phrase. – mathewb Oct 13 '17 at 4:15
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    @CinCout I don't agree. I think you can say "move" or "moved." – Ringo Oct 13 '17 at 4:28
25

These sentences are all possible:

  1. We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches and moved among the fur seals without bothering them.

  2. We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches, moving among the fur seals without bothering them.

  3. We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches and (to) move among the fur seals without bothering them.

In sentence 1, moved refers to we. Notice there is no comma after "beaches." In most cases, you can add the comma if you feel it helps make the sentence clear. But in formal English, you would only use the comma if the second half of the sentence were a complete sentence on its own:

We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches, and we moved among the fur seals without bothering them.

In sentence 2, moving among the fur seals is a present participle showing parallel activity. You can read about it here: http://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/ing-forms/ The comma serves a very different purpose and is important to the meaning of the sentence. With the comma, moving modifies we, meaning we were moving among the seals. Without the comma, moving modifies beaches, meaning the beaches were moving among the seals. Quite impossible indeed!

In sentence 3, we can use move because it's short for to move. The to is optional. We are saying we were able to walk and to move. Again, the comma is not required here, because to move along the fur seals without bothering them is not a complete sentence.

So. to answer your question, moved is correct. By removing "and," you can use the present participle with moving like in sentence 2.

  • Note that 'moved' coordinates with 'were', and '[to] move' coordinates with 'to walk'. – amI Oct 13 '17 at 21:32
  • (and note that 'along' should change to 'among') – amI Oct 13 '17 at 21:39
0

"We were" is past tense, thus, in order to keep tense agreement, you must use the word "moved".

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"We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches and moved among the fur seals without bothering them"

This describes what you did.

"We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches and move among the fur seals without bothering them [,but didn't, instead we just sat on the bench and watched]"

Without the second part, the first part just describes what you were able to do.

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