I'm not sure about this thing, but it has been tormenting me for a while. I can't really understand the grammatical structure of it was nice meeting you.

I mean, if nice in itself is an adjective, then how is it modifying meeting?

But if we remove nice, then the sentence It was meeting you doesn't make much more of the sense of what we are trying to express, instead it just forms a past continuous tense.

However, this thing it was nice meeting you holds the ground if we consider meeting as a noun i.e. a gerund. Can anyone explain to me what's actually happening over here?


1 Answer 1


Adjectives can take different complements : PP (preposition+gerund); 'to'-infinitive , 'gerund', or a clause.

Adjectives + preposition + gerund

"During the lockdown we are bored of doing nothing."

Adjective + to-infinitive

"It would be wonderful to meet you again." (Meeting didn't take place at the time of speaking.)

Adjective + gerund

"It was wonderful meeting you again yesterday." (Meeting took place yesterday.)

Similarly, "Nice to meet you" is used at the very beginning of the meeting as an introductory part.

"It was nice meeting you" means the meeting already took place & it was a nice experience.

  • Thanks for the response there. But how do we justify that it is a gerund in the sentence, not a present participle? does simply putting an adjective before the present particle makes it a gerund? Commented May 14, 2020 at 5:23
  • No, it's gerund because it serves as a noun in apposition to the pronoun 'it'. Here, it = meeting you. You can replace 'it'with "meeting you" : Meeting you was nice. Commented May 14, 2020 at 5:49
  • I had known that appositives follow the noun they modify or provide essential information about. And I have already thought about, "it = meeting you" but couldn't really figure out the reason behind it. Do you, Sandip, mind providing me with a link or an article, where I can read more about it? Commented May 14, 2020 at 6:27

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