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I hope you don’t mind me messaging you.

Is ‘me’ the subject of the gerund phrase, or what would we call the phrase ‘me messaging you’? What’s the structure of the phrase ‘me messaging you’? How is it functioning in the sentence?

  • I don't think it's a gerund phrase. I think it's some flavor of subordinate clause, but I couldn't tell you the exact name. Either way, yes, "me" should be the subject. – Andrew Nov 1 '18 at 6:14
  • What kind of subordinate clause it is? A subordinate clause usually begins with a subject and verb, but the clause, ‘me messaging you’ starts with an objective case. What do you think about it? – Sarosh Nov 1 '18 at 7:24
  • I think it's a participle phrase. Participles or participle phrases are often used to make a shortened form of a subordinate clause. – dan Nov 1 '18 at 8:16
  • @Sarosh Tᴚoɯɐuo seems to have given you the answer. I'm not an expert on how these things are named, as I don't find it very interesting. – Andrew Nov 1 '18 at 14:43
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me messaging you refers to an action but not a finite one, that is, not to an action happening at a particular moment.

Rather it refers to the notion of the action. The clause has a nominal role. It fits in the {something} slot:

I hope you don't mind {something}.

It could be paraphrased

I hope you don't mind that I have messaged you.

I hope you don't mind that I will be messaging you.

We don't know the time of the action and cannot say, without context, whether the reference is to something already done or to something contemplated, because it is not a finite clause.

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  • Makes sense, thank you! So can I say ‘me messaging you’ can be interpreted as the reduced clauses of any of these clauses, ‘that I have messages you’ or ‘I will be messaging you’ ? – Sarosh Nov 1 '18 at 12:05
  • No, I would not call it a "reduced" version of those clauses. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 1 '18 at 12:08
  • Then what? I guess ‘me messaging you is a non-finite clause then, right? Would you consider ‘me’ as the subject of that non-finite clause? – Sarosh Nov 1 '18 at 12:51
  • The verb in me messaging you is non-finite. The speaker, the referent of "me", is the entity who has been doing or who will be doing the messaging. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 1 '18 at 13:07
  • Thank you again! So can we say that ‘me’ is the subject of that nominal non-finite clause? – Sarosh Nov 1 '18 at 13:11

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