The OALD says "some verbs can be used with both a noun phrase and an 'ing phrase'. The frame for this is <somebody>/<something> doing <something>. and,

(1) the noun phrase can be the object of main verb. (e.g. I watched him running) or
(2) the noun phrase and gerund together can be the object. (e.g. I hate him joking) here, him can be replaced with possessive pronoun his (I hate his joking)."

Further, the dictionary says "where the possessive pronoun is used is shown in the dictionary entry"

but in the dictionary entry, I can't see any symbol used to show the verbs which take possessive pronoun before gerunds.

My questions is: How do we identify the verbs, which the only noun phrase can be the object of main verb and the noun phrase and gerund together can be the object of verb?

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is an example of the so-called complex-object.There is no gerund here, running is participle I. In complex object we can use either the infinitive or participle I. So, your sentence can be rephrased: I watched him run ( bare infinitive in this case as to watch is a verb of physical perception) as for the second sentence, it' not complex-object (there are two separate objects, one of which is expressed by a gerund). In complex- object we can use only object pronouns, it's a rule. In the second sentence a possessive pronoun is possible, but it' s seldom used, I' d say it's semi- correct. So, always use object pronouns) and find more information about complex-object

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