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What is the difference between using gerund or the regular form of the verb? Options
Hemant Patel 1
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 5:58:55 PM

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Joined: 4/26/2016
Posts: 60
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What is the difference between using gerund or the regular form of the verb? Also why don't we add 's" to singular form (a car drives off, a dog barks, him goes out)?

I heard a car drive off.
I heard a car driving off.

He could hear a dog bark.
He could hear a dog barking.

Did you hear him go out?
Did you hear him going out?
thar
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 6:17:15 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,774
Neurons: 92,504
Hemant Patel 1 wrote:
What is the difference between using gerund or the regular form of the verb? Also why don't we add 's" to singular form (a car drives off, a dog barks, him goes out)?

These are not inflected verbs (what you call the regular form).
You only have one inflected verb in the clause, and that is 'I hear/ I could' etc.
Any other verb has to be an infinitive or a participle, unless you start a new clause after a conjunction or you have a relative clause.
If it is the object of a verb it can be a gerund - but it is not coincidence that leads to the gerund being formed from the participle. The function is often very similar.


I heard a car drive off.
this is an infinitive.
eg
I saw a man be afraid of a spider


I heard a car driving off.
this is a participle
driving off is what it was doing, when you heard it



these examples should show it more clearly

I saw the man fall.
infinitive.
You saw the event. He fell and you saw it happen.

I saw the man, and he fell
conjuction + new clause, new information.

I saw the man who fell
relative clause identifying which man you saw

I saw the man falling
participle.
the action took a duration of time, and you saw the action at one point in that duration. It emphasises that the event has duration - you may not have seen him jump from the plane, you may not have seen him land on the ground. You just saw him falling. You saw him [while he was] falling.


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