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Here's One For Ya

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

Here's One For Ya

Postby AndyTheUsagi » Fri 08.31.2007 1:05 am

Let's talk about gerunds. Let me start by defining that a 'gerund' is a noun, taken from a verb, that ends in -ing. For example:
The village assembled to watch the hanging.

A gerund can also be plural:
Since the criminal had an accomplice, there were actually two hangings.

Here's an interesting point: in the case of
"People like to talk about celebrities' private lives rather than their acting."
we naturally say "acting" instead of "actings". It's definitely proper English... but I can't think of a straight-out explanation as to why.

It might take one post to answer the question, but it could easily be a hard concept for a person studying English to learn, so I want to get an answer from you guys (and start a related discussion).
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RE: Here's One For Ya

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 08.31.2007 2:00 am

I could be completely off on this, but the first reason that pops into my head is that acting is something that can't counted.

We can say "How many hangings did you see today?" Just the same as "They have a lot of apples."

However, we cannot do the same with acting, which is an uncountable.
"How many actings did you see today?" is like saying "They have a lot of waters."

Or am I completely off?
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RE: Here's One For Ya

Postby saraLynne » Fri 08.31.2007 2:09 am

It's too simplistic to say that a gerund is a noun. It IS nominalized, so it can function LIKE a noun, but it isn't one. I think most gerunds CANNOT be made plural, and the irregularity lies with the "hangings".

I believe "hanging" can only be made plural because the term has become a noun in its own right, and does not necessarily refer to a man being hanged, but broader in scope to include the entire event/affair, the gathering crowd, reading of the crimes, and so forth.

Other gerunds, not having acquired this "true noun" status are treated as they should be.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby alphafour » Fri 07.17.2009 10:47 pm

I think in terms of the word acting I would say that you don't split someone's acting up into their different movies when you imagine the person acting. Rather you think of their career as a whole and perhaps this is the reason why people say acting rather than actings?

This is probably the case with a lot of verbs changed to gerunds however i realised one doesn't conform.

I might say "Jack Cooper has caused many deaths with his shootings"

you wouldn't say shooting. Aha so yes as someone said - if it's an event then more often than not there will be an S but if it's an ongoing/recently completed action there won't.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby keatonatron » Fri 07.17.2009 11:53 pm

I think saraLynne answered it perfectly with one post :D

The problem isn't "acting", it is "hanging" which has been transformed into a seperate (countable) word, and is (in this case) no longer a gerund.

"Shooting" (as in an event where someone shoots at someone else, outside of a warzone) is also it's own seperate word.

If you use "hanging" as an actual gerund, (e.g. "Monkeys like hanging from trees") it can not be made plural.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 07.18.2009 9:38 am

keatonatron wrote:I think saraLynne answered it perfectly with one post :D


2 years ago at that.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby keatonatron » Sat 07.18.2009 11:07 am

...Well, thanks for the much-needed input Alphafour. We've been waiting for a decent answer!!
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby AJBryant » Sun 07.19.2009 7:31 am

Come on, guys, new poster. Don't scare him off.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.19.2009 10:59 am

I'm curious as to how they found this old thread... were they searching for threads about gerunds, with no questions of their own but things to add??
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 07.19.2009 11:21 am

In some of the subforums, like this one, there are so few posts that there are 2 year old posts on the first page of the subforum. I think that's what accounts for a number of the necroposts, so it's not really the new poster's fault.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby Gundaetiapo » Sun 07.19.2009 11:41 am

I don't know why you say "fault" when nothing bad transpired.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.19.2009 1:42 pm

Gundaetiapo wrote:I don't know why you say "fault" when nothing bad transpired.


I personally don't mind, but I did spend time and effort creating a reply to try and help a poster who had already been satisfied with their answer 2 years ago, all because I was led to believe this was a new thread.

That's generally why "necroposting" is considered bad forum etiquette.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby Gundaetiapo » Sun 07.19.2009 2:40 pm

keatonatron wrote:"necroposting" is considered bad forum etiquette.


The sentiment isn't unanimous. The rules allow for good necroposts:

1.5: Old threads can and should only be revived if the post benefits the community (Posts like "oh, thanks. lol. I see." etc... aren't beneficial). So unless your post is bringing up important information, or asking for better clarification, then we request you refrain from posting in old threads


If you disagree about whether it's a good post, then comment on that. But personally I would rather see folks drop the compulsion to criticize the necromancy of a post.
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Re: Here's One For Ya

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.19.2009 3:01 pm

Well, we only call it necroposting if it isn't "bringing up important information or asking for better clarification," so by simply using that term I was commenting on everything you wanted me to.

And I don't mean that's the definition of the word "necropost", I mean that's how we use it on this forum.
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