What is the difference between "I saw Sam playing." and "I saw Sam was playing."?

If first 'playing' is a gerund what is it expressing ? How is it different from the second sentence ?

1 Answer 1


I saw Sam playing. Sam, in the act of playing, was one of the things I could see at that moment. If he was playing a game out of doors, I might be talking about the view from my window.

I saw [that] Sam was playing. From the evidence of my eyes, I became aware that Sam was playing. I might have been expecting that he wouldn't play that day.

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