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08 Mar 2010, 22:30
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(beatthegmat) Bret Ruber
Some forms are often wrong or misused on the GMAT SCs. One such form is the present progressive (also known as the present continuous) verb tense.
In the sentence, “He was doing well,” the word “doing” is in the present progressive form. The correct sentence would read, “He did well.” Here, the word “do” has replaced “doing.”
At first, this seems as if it is a rather straightforward rule. Whenever one sees the letters “-ing” at the end of a word, the answer choice can be eliminated. However, words that end in “-ing” are not always in the present progressive tense. Sometimes they are gerunds.
In the sentence “He enjoys running,” “running” is a gerund. Now, instead of indicating an action happening continuously in the present, as in the present progressive tense, the “-ing” is being used to turn the verb “to run” into the noun/activity “running.” Gerunds are considered correct on the GMAT, so this sentence would not need to be altered.
So, what should one do if the “-ing” ending shows up on test day? First, take a look at the sentence and determine the subject: the person or thing performing the action. In both of our examples, the subject is “he.” Next, determine the action that the subject is performing in the sentence. This will be the verb. In the first example, “doing” is an action that “he” performs. In the second, “enjoys” is the action. If the word ending in “-ing” is the verb, then it is in the present progressive tense and is, therefore, incorrect. If the word ending in “-ing” is not the verb, then it is a gerund and does not need to be altered.
BEN KU (ManhattanGmat)
When looking at parallel elements in a list, concrete nouns and action nouns cannot be considered parallel. Whereas concrete nouns are specific things (e.g. rock, cup, year, tiger), action nouns refer to actions (the pollution of ..., the rotation of ...). Simple gerunds (typing, tying, eating, giving) are more like concrete nouns, whereas complex gerunds (the typing of ..., the typing of ..., the eating of ..., the giving)
Incorrect: I enjoy giving presents and the giving of food during the holidays.
Here, although "giving presents" and "the giving of food" are both nouns, the first is a concrete noun/simple gerund, while the latter is an action noun/complex gerund. Just reading the sentence, you can tell why this would not be parallel.
Correct: I enjoy the giving of presents and the giving of food during the holidays. Correct: I enjoy giving presents and giving food during the holidays. Correct: I enjoy giving presents and food during the holidays.
Note: There is a subtle difference in meaning between the first two correct sentences. The first one implies that he personally enjoys giving things during the holidays. The second implies that he enjoys the fact that presents and food are given.
Also, between the second and third, the third is better because it's more concise. _________________
" 1) Correct: I enjoy the giving of presents and the giving of food during the holidays. 2) Correct: I enjoy giving presents and giving food during the holidays.
Note: There is a subtle difference in meaning between the first two correct sentences. The first one implies that he personally enjoys giving things during the holidays. The second implies that he enjoys the fact that presents and food are given."
In regards to your Note, I think you have the subtle differences b/w the first two correct sentences switched. It is the second correct sentence that implies he personally enjoys giving things and the first one that implies that he enjoys the fact that things are given (b/c the word "the" is used. the giving of presents. the giving of food). Please clarify if I'm mistaken.
Oh, and great explanation on gerunds btw. It helped a lot. Thx.
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