Some long distance trains were having more number of compartments thus making the train longer than today.

In this example above what is the use of the word having ?Is it a verb or a gerund or a participle? How to identify it's nature?

The reason of my confusion is that I know that (am/is/are)-be verbs can be used as a auxiliary verb in continuous tense like - He is playing a game. They were having a good time.Or as a main verb - This is my car. But I am not sure about it's use here.

It can be a participle , like in a sense that ( more number of compartments) is qualifying (the train) hence acting as an adjective==> hence participle. But I haven't seen use of having as participle.

  • 1
    What is the source of the quote? It is not correct English. – James K Feb 17 '19 at 8:50
  • It was from an online filler test . there was a blank in the portion of having word – Ritwik Bhattacharyya Feb 17 '19 at 9:40
  • It is common is Indian English for people to use a gerund form (e.g. I am having a cold), where standard English uses the simple present (I have a cold). – Michael Harvey Feb 17 '19 at 10:22

Gerunds and participle phrases are never the main verb in a clause. They form noun phrases or act to describe something in the sentence.

Here the main verb is the phrase "were having", and it is the past continuous tense. However, it is not a good use of the past continuous tense. With a verb, like have, that usually describes a "state" (not an action) the continuous tense is not often used.

The sentence should simply use the past tense. You should not use "more number of" to mean "more", and the word for part of a train is a "carriage" (a compartment is room in a train carriage). The word "thus" is not needed and there is a mismatch between "some train" and "the train"

Some long-distance trains had more carriages, making them longer than trains today.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.