She decided to make running at least one mile a part of school day to supplement regular PE,class.

Why use "running" rather than "run"?


3 Answers 3


That's because running at least one mile is the object of the verb make. She decided to make something a part of school day to supplement regular PE class and that something was running at least one mile. We could ask this question and get the following answer:

Question: She decided to make what a part of school day to supplement regular PE class?
Answer: Running at least one mile.

Running is being used as a noun and the whole thing, running at least one mile, is a noun phrase. Make run at least one mile a part of school day sounds wrong and makes no sense in this context.

  • You don't have to explain this to me, but learners might wonder how this answers the OP's question. After all, run can also be used as a noun, so why is it "make running" and not "make run"?
    – J.R.
    Nov 17, 2018 at 18:18
  • I see what you mean, but I think the OP is just parsing the sentence wrong. Make run at least one mile a part of school day makes zero sense in this context. Nov 17, 2018 at 18:29
  • Yeah, sure, but it can be hard for a learner to understand why it doesn't work grammatically. (And the question does ask "why".) Also, it's interesting how we could say: She decided to run at least one mile, or even: She decided to take a one-mile run.
    – J.R.
    Nov 17, 2018 at 18:31
  • I guess we have to ask the OP why he thinks that run would be a better option than running in that sentence. Nov 17, 2018 at 18:35

Examples for the purpose of re-use:

to make something something

  • To make good grades [his,her,my etc.] goal.

  • He wants to make good grades his goal.

  • He wants to make long-distance running his goals.

  • She decided to make running a part of her regular exercise.

running is a sport and the noun is running for the sport. It is also used adjectivally: running sports as opposed to water sports, for example.

If running is what you do for exercise, you go for runs (jogging) or you run around a track. Run is another noun which is the name of the actual activity. You can go for a run but not be into running (the sport) in a major way.

Also, there is ski run (the path or place you ski down the mountain).


She decided to make running at least one mile a part of the school day to supplement regular PE class.

"Make" is a catenative verb but it only occurs in complex catenative constructions (the kind with an intervening NP), e.g. I'll make them run a mile every day.

Thus since your example is not a catenative construction, this a case where, exceptionally, there are sufficient grounds to include the non-finite clause "running at least one mile" within the direct object type of internal complement with "a part of school day" as objective predicative complement, cf. She made regular exercise a requirement.

Note, though, that "running at least one mile" is not a noun phrase, since "running" has the noun phrase "at least one mile" as direct object, and nouns don't take direct objects.

  • English is my only language and I read this and know less now than i did before reading it.
    – WendyG
    Jan 28, 2019 at 13:31

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