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Is it right sentence:

I had to leave just as the conversation was getting interest.

What is the 'interest' here? What does it mean?

If it's right, why don't say instead of it:

I had to leave just as the conversation was getting interesting.

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  • In this context, if you think of to get as meaning to become (as in "I'm getting tired of explaining this"), you'll see you need a "quality, attribute", not a simple noun. Apr 2, 2014 at 18:04
  • It seems likely to me that this is an error and should be written the way you have it. Technically, the first sentence is grammatical and could be interpreted as relaxing suggests, but the more natural way of expressing that would be ". . .just as the conversation was starting to interest people in the room." The phrase would be annoyingly misleading otherwise because (as you notice) the ear expects "interesting" at the end of the sentence. When in doubt, assume people are trying to talk about themselves and what interests them. Apr 2, 2014 at 18:39

2 Answers 2

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If you mean that the conversation elicited the interest of the audience, the correct word is undoubtedly "interesting". I can't see "interest" fitting in that sentence at that position in any case, or that I can't think of any.

Cut out the clause from the sentence -

The conversation was getting interesting.

Ask the question - How the conversation was getting? The answer of this question is something that modifies the subject "conversation", and we call those words "adjective". So we need an adjective after "getting" in that sentence.

"interest" is a verb, while "interesting" is an adjective. So the correct form is "interesting".

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  • I agree with you. However, I managed to think of this rephrasing, where the noun form would be okay: I had to leave just as the conversation was capturing my interest.
    – J.R.
    Apr 2, 2014 at 19:09
  • @J.R. Yes you are right about it. But in your case the verb is different (capture) :) Apr 3, 2014 at 1:51
  • If "interest" was read as a noun, I would have imagined a lecture on Finance. :)
    – Helix Quar
    Apr 3, 2014 at 4:04
  • @Man_From_India - I suppose you could say "getting my interest", but I thought capturing sounded better. Another possibility would be gaining.
    – J.R.
    Apr 3, 2014 at 8:58
  • @J.R. Correct. I agree. Apr 3, 2014 at 10:55
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If you meant to imply that the conversation had begun to catch the attention of people in the room (who would then come over and listen or respond), you could say "I had to leave just as the conversation was attracting interest."

Otherwise, the latter is certainly more correct.

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  • ok, but I still don't see why 'interest', not 'interesting'
    – Selio
    Apr 2, 2014 at 17:10
  • @Selio Because in the case of "getting interesting", interesting is an adjective (interesting conversation). "Getting" is used in the sense of "becoming". By changing to "attracting interest", interest is now a noun.
    – toandfro
    Apr 2, 2014 at 18:38
  • @Selio I think it was a mistake. This is a possible way to suggest that the conversation was garnering ("getting") the interest of people nearby, but it sounds strange and is probably not how anyone would say this--even in the unlikely case that this is what they were trying to say. Apr 2, 2014 at 18:46

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