79 votes
Accepted

Who is frowning in the sentence "Daisy looked at Tom frowning"?

From the sentence alone, it could mean either #1 or #2; there is no way to tell without context. #1 would be the more common meaning of this construction, but #2 is perfectly proper. In this case, ...
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  • 32.8k
57 votes
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Popcorn is the only acceptable snack to consume while watching a movie

I agree with this answer and this comment answer that say the original sentence is grammatical. Your proposed correction, Popcorn is the only acceptable snack to consume while people are watching ...
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  • 8,549
57 votes
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Why is it "crouching tiger hidden dragon" but not "crouching tiger hiding dragon"?

Something that is hiding is taking some deliberate action to hide. Something that is hidden is just not in view (literally or figuratively), possibly due to outside factors. The book/film title ...
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  • 12.1k
25 votes
Accepted

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

In this case your seeming "double negation" is actually required for the meaning you wish. Let's look at the sentence in a more standard format. They could not catch the mouse because they are not ...
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  • 25.2k
16 votes

Popcorn is the only acceptable snack to consume while watching a movie

The sentence is grammatically correct as is. If you wanted to make it explicit, you could say Popcorn is the only acceptable snack for people watching a movie. or Popcorn is the only ...
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  • 434
13 votes

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

It is grammatically well formed, but could be better punctuated, and the slight stress between the singular in the first phrase and the plural in the main clause can be eliminated: Not being cats, ...
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  • 149k
10 votes

Who is frowning in the sentence "Daisy looked at Tom frowning"?

Note: I gave this answer before it was edited to provide additional context. At the time, the only phrase provided was: Daisy looked at Tom frowning. It's ambiguous and could be interpreted either ...
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9 votes

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

This sentence is much more readable with the addition of a single comma: Not being a cat, none of them could catch the mouse. The clause "Not being a cat" applies to the subject of the sentence, ...
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9 votes

Popcorn is the only acceptable snack to consume while watching a movie

There are no immediate issues with the sentence that I can see. Adding in "while people are" is redundant, as it's implied that people are watching the movie while eating popcorn. Your dog or pet fish ...
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  • 272
8 votes
Accepted

"Without his telling me" vs. "Without him telling me"?

NOTE ADDED TO ANSWER The OP clarified that he/she wanted to know the semantic difference between these two phrases. I will maintain that, for the general reader, both sentences are generally ...
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8 votes
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What are these ingforms of learning?

I generally agree with Jeff Morrow's answer (though only some linguists treat a gerund as just a way of using a participle: many regard them as different forms which happen to have the same shape). ...
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  • 64.1k
7 votes

Why is it "crouching tiger hidden dragon" but not "crouching tiger hiding dragon"?

Yeah, basically, what TypelA said in their answer. But then there is also the issue of grammar, I think. In "crouching tiger hidden dragon", both "crouching" and "hidden" ...
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  • 9,896
6 votes

Should I say "I've never heard someone say it" or "I've never heard someone saying it" or both are acceptable?

It's not common usage, but I don't think it's ungrammatical. I think the hang up is that you don't hear someone saying things, you hear someone say things. This means that you take in the completed ...
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  • 3,308
6 votes

Why is it "crouching tiger hidden dragon" but not "crouching tiger hiding dragon"?

The reason it is not "Crouched Tiger Hidden Dragon" is already included in TypeIA's answer. Unlike the dragon, the tiger is taking a deliberate action to crouch. There is a tiger that is ...
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  • 2,795
6 votes
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While crossing the road, the old man was hit by a bus

The question we have to answer is "Who was crossing the road?" While crossing the road, the old man was hit by a bus. [The old man was crossing the road.] While crossing the road, the bus ...
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  • 535
5 votes
Accepted

"remember visiting" vs. "remember to visit"

You've got it exactly right; remember has two different meanings. With the gerund complement remember means recall (a prior eventuality): I remember visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Wow! Nice! I smelled you baking cake!

These are idiomatic: I smelled you smoking out in the tool shed, you little twerp. I'm going to tell Dad on you. An eight-year-old shouldn't be smoking. Did I smell you burning dead leaves ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is there a difference between "I saw him going..." and "I saw him go..."?

The meanings are different. In the sentence with the ing-form, the speaker saw only a part of the action of going to the city. He did not witness the person going from his starting point all the way ...
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  • 5,054
5 votes

How to parse "have something/someone + -ing"

"Guys saluting" is a description of a situation, not of people. If Mr. Obama wanted to refer to people who salute, he could use "guys who salute" or "saluting guys" instead. You can compare this to "...
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5 votes

I'm doing teaching

Yes, you can use doing + teaching together. Here is an example that might make your teacher feel more comfortable: I'm doing some private teaching in the afternoons this year, so I won't be able ...
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  • 1,662
5 votes
Accepted

Being washed two weeks ago

It's not wrong to use "being", but as WendyG says, most native speakers would probably choose "having been". It makes more sense to describe washing as a relative action, especially (as stangdon ...
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  • 87k
5 votes

Which of the two words sounds more natural and common to native speakers? “Though merging/merged...”

Merged and merging mean something different. In your sentence they are used as participles- one present participle the other Perfect participle. Merging would mean in your sentence that they are ...
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5 votes

What are these ingforms of learning?

In all these cases, "learning" is the present participle of learn. A present participle can be used in conjunction with a form of the verb "be" to form a progressive tense of the verb with the root ...
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  • 27.4k
4 votes

What is breaking on the shore? The sea foam or the waves?

It's the waves. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_wave Sometimes only context can tell how to parse the sentence. (You have to kind of know beforehand that waves can "break" at a shore, so on.)
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4 votes

Should I say "I've never heard someone say it" or "I've never heard someone saying it" or both are acceptable?

They are both correct but used differently. I've never heard someone say it. This one means pretty much what it sounds like, you've never heard someone say it. I've never heard someone saying ...
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4 votes

Present participle or relative clause: "writing this thing" in "You did too good of a job writing this thing"

This is a really gnarly question! I have two nominees: a gerund clause in apposition to the direct object a good job ... This understands writing this thing as fundamentally a restatement or ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Are Nouns as Adjective and Present Participle as Adjective in the sentence?

the vampire life-blood cash draining net worth sweep I suggest you should parse it thus: the 'core' of the entire phrase is the NP net worth sweep ... this phrase occurs in the title of the article, ...
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