0

On seeing that the robber was walking at his direction slowly, he turned around, and ran for his dear life.

Seeing that the robber was walking at his direction slowly, he turned around, and ran for his dear life.

Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same thing? Are they just choices of sentences you use?

He got up his seat, and walked towards her, seeing that she had arrived.

He got up his seat, and walked towards her on seeing that she had arrived.

He got up his seat, and walked towards her, on seeing that she had arrived.

Are all the above sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same thing? Are they just choices of sentences you use?

  • A minor note on some prepositions: you don't walk at a direction, you walk in a direction, like "The robber was walking in his direction." And you get up from a seat, like "He got up from his seat." – stangdon Mar 9 '16 at 17:52
  • Sorry, i actually can't believe i got that one wrong, for i knew that. And on the "Getting up from a seat" matter, i've seen a lot of natives drop out the preposition in similar constructions. So, would that be entirely wrong grammatically? – lekon chekon Mar 9 '16 at 19:18
  • You've seen natives saying something like "got up his seat"? That seems very strange to me - but then, there are many dialects of English! Do you have an example? It might be a feature of African-American Vernacular, which sometimes uses phrasings like "get out your seat!" but not, I think, "get up your seat". – stangdon Mar 9 '16 at 21:48
  • If my mind serves me right, i was probably watching some American television show when i heard that phrase get used. – lekon chekon Mar 10 '16 at 11:30
1

Yes, they are both grammatical, and have very similar meanings, even though their structures are radically different. (Two minor corrections, which don't affect what you are asking about: "walked in his direction", and the idiom is for dear life. Alternatively, you could say "for his life")

In "On seeing that ... , he turned", the initial clause is a prepositional phrase locating the action in time. It is functionally equivalent to "After lunch" or "at three o'clock". It modifies the whole predicate.

In the second sentence, "Seeing that ..., he turned", the initial clause is either an adjectival clause modifying "he", or possibly an absolute clause modifying the whole sentence. But it may be doing more than specifying the time - it might, for example, imply causation or motivation.

The other three sentences are a bit more complicated. I find them all a bit unnatural. In the first one, "He got up from his seat, and walked towards her, seeing that she had arrived", I find it so unnatural in this sense that for me a different, idiomatic, use of 'seeing that' appears: this means 'even though', or 'because'. So the primary reading of that to me is something like "Because she had arrived, he got up ...", with an implication that he didn't want to, or wasn't ready to, but felt obliged to because she had made the effort, or something like that.

The last two are fine, but as I say they feel a bit unnatural to me. I find the last one, with the comma, slightly better.

0

on just makes it clearer that you are talking about an event (rather than a continuous activity) and something that happened following that event. For first pair of sentences, it doesn't make so much difference whether you add on, because the clause order matches the event order. With the second, because the clause order is different to the event order, the on is much more important.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.