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"?


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 '18 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. – Michael Rybkin Nov 17 '18 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 '18 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. – Michael Rybkin Nov 17 '18 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 at 13:31

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