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I have a question regarding the verb pattern [ Sit / stand / lie + expression of place + gerund ].

In my English book (Mac Millan Open Mind upper intermediate level) I've found some examples explaining the lesson, and this one was one of them:

E.g. "The crowd just sat listening to the music all afternoon."

It does not use the expression of time. I found it a bit confusing since it has already been explained in the lesson that these verbs follow this pattern: [ Sit / stand / lie + expression of place + gerund ].

Some presumptions: 🤔

Is it because we can understand easily "the place" from the context or because after the verb sit we use gerund usually ( which has no relation with the lesson)?

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  • Surely all afternoon is the expression of time? Oct 5, 2022 at 17:21
  • I suggest 'The crowd just sat listening to the music all afternoon…' is at very best a poorly contrived example and you would be better off dropping whoever proposed it… Oct 6, 2022 at 22:59

2 Answers 2

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In that structure, there's no rule that says you must mention the place.

If the book gave that structure including "expression of place", they were just showing you the best place in the sentence to include an expression of place, not saying it's required.

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  • The purpose of the lesson is whether to use gerund or infinitive after Sit/ stand/ lie + place expression. I am wondering in case there is no time expression, will we have to keep gerund after these verbs (Sit/ stand/ lie)? Oct 5, 2022 at 16:45
  • @MeriemAISSAOUI I haven't read the lesson in your book, but I don't think the place expression changes anything at all about the grammar or meaning.
    – gotube
    Oct 5, 2022 at 16:59
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Sit / stand / lie + expression of place + gerund ].

The crowd sat on the grass listening to music.

We stood in line waiting for tickets.

We lay on the ground looking at the stars.

However, this example: the crowd just sat listening to the music all afternoon." does not contain a place.

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