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Forget doing Options
Joe Kim
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 11:59:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2016
Posts: 599
Neurons: 3,072
You know this "forget +doing" construction, which means forget having done something, seems not making sense to me again.

How about these:
1. I like jumping - is this "I like having jumped?

2. I forget closing the door - closing the door isn't having closed, isn't it? And you can forget doing; why doing suddenly becomes past when it is with forget?


FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 12:14:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 10,767
Neurons: 55,303
Joe Kim wrote:
You know this "forget +doing" construction, which means forget having done something, seems not making sense to me again.

How about these:
1. I like jumping - is this "I like having jumped?
"I like jumping" means you like the activity. Jumping is a gerund. Using "having jumped" means you enjoyed it in the past as a completed action.

2. I forget closing the door - closing the door isn't having closed, isn't it? And you can forget doing; why doing suddenly becomes past when it is with forget?
We wouldn't say "I forget closing the door" in normal speech. We would normally say, "I (often/sometimes/always) forget to close the door when I come home" — "forget + infinitive". It's an on-going state. For the past, it's "I forgot to close the door".

To use "having closed", which is past perfect, you would say, "I forgot having closed the door". You closed it in the past, and forgot doing that in the past.




We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:58:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 5,102
Neurons: 294,045
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
It's the very nature of "forgetting" and "remembering" (followed by a gerund) that the "doing" must have taken place in the past.

It would seem strange, or at least unusual, to say "I forget closing the door." It would be more natural to say "I don't remember closing the door."

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 5:18:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,327
Neurons: 196,529
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
NKM wrote:
It's the very nature of "forgetting" and "remembering" . . .

That's a great point. It made me look further . . .

"Forget" and "remember" have their own 'time scales'. They each have two times involved - the time of the thought and the time of the action. These are separated by the use of an infinitive or a gerund.

"I like . . ." is a normal modal verb. If you like something now, it's a present tense. The other verb can be an infinitive or gerund, with very little difference. I like swimming. I like to swim.
If you liked something which happened yesterday you use a normal past tense and gerund. I liked going swimming yesterday.

"Forget" and "remember" have two possible meanings in the past - and two other possible meanings in the present.
Past thoughts of an action at the time.
I forgot to lock the door yesterday. - I should have locked the door, but I didn't. I did not remember the need to lock it.
I remembered to lock the door yesterday. - I should have locked the door, and I did. I remembered the need to lock it.

Past thoughts of an earlier action.
(as NKM says, we do not use 'forgot', but 'did not remember')
When I arrived at work, I didn't remember locking the door at home. (The 'locking the door' or 'not locking the door' action was earlier.)
When I arrived at work, I remembered locking the door at home. (The 'locking the door' or 'not locking the door' action was earlier.)

Present (habitual/repeated) thoughts of an action at the time.
I (often/sometimes/always . . .) forget to lock the door. - I should lock the door, but I (often/sometimes) don't. I don't remember the need to lock it.
I always remember to lock the door. - I should lock the door, and I do. I always remember the need to lock it.

Present (habitual/repeated) thoughts of an earlier action.
(as NKM says, we do not use 'forgot', but 'did not remember')
When I arrive at work, I sometimes don't remember locking the door at home. (The 'locking the door' or 'not locking the door' action was earlier than the arriving at work.)
When I arrive at work, I always remember locking the door at home. (The 'locking the door' or 'not locking the door' action was earlier than the arriving at work.)


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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