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I have questions regarding the -ing form of a verb :

1. I am not interested in watching the match standing at the balcony.
In the above sentence , is the entire underlined phrase a gerund equivalent phrase or is "standing at the balcony" a participial phrase outside the gerund phrase ?

2. I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony.
In the above sentence , are both the participles referring to "him" ?
Can we use two participles to refer to the same object ?
How should we change or punctuate the sentence such that the second participle refers to the subject "I" ?
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Hi,

I have questions regarding the -ing form of a verb :

1. I am not interested in watching the match standing at the balcony.

In the above sentence , is the entire underlined phrase a gerund equivalent phrase No

or is "standing at the balcony" a participial phrase outside the gerund phrase ? Yes. Consider these longer forms of the sentence.

I am not interested in watching the match while standing at the balcony.

I am not interested in watching the match while I am standing at the balcony.

( You usually stand on a balcony. )

2. I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony.

In the above sentence , are both the participles referring to "him" ? Yes

Can we use two participles to refer to the same object ? Yes. But consider the punctuation in this example. I saw him eating ice-cream, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette.

How should we change or punctuate the sentence such that the second participle refers to the subject "I"?

Standing at the balcony, I saw him watching the match.

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks for explaining Clive.
But "I saw him eating ice-cream, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette." is different from the example that I quoted i.e. "I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony."
According to your explanation my sentence "I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony" should mean that I saw him watching the match while he was standing at the balcony , whereas the example that you mentioned "I saw him eating ice-cream, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette." means that I saw him doing three different activities but maybe not at the same time.
Please throw some light on this !
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Hi,

But "I saw him eating ice-cream, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette." is different from the example that I quoted i.e. "I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony."

According to your explanation my sentence "I saw him watching the match standing at the balcony" should mean that I saw him watching the match while he was standing at the balcony , yes

whereas the example that you mentioned "I saw him eating ice-cream, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette." means that I saw him doing three different activities but maybe not at the same time.

It certainly can mean that, but it can also mean at the same time. The context would usually make the intended meaning clear. If a cop tells the judge that 'I arrested Clive because I saw him driving his car and watching TV', the judge is unlikely to say 'Do you mean at the same time?'

We say this kind of thing, as in my example, all the time. In contexts where the meaning is truly unclear, the listener would simply ask a question to get clarification.

Please post again if you heve further concerns.

Clive
Thanks Clive ,
But do I have to use a comma in the original sentence "I saw him watching the match (,) standing at the balcony" to make my meaning clear ?
Hi,

I wondered if you'd get around to asking that. It's an interesting question.Emotion: geeked

Here's how I see it.

I would usually use a comma, or 'and'.

However, to me it's OK to omit the comma if the second participle is something that is commonly 'done with' the first participle.

eg (A) I saw her working in the kitchen cooking dinner. OK not to use a comma

eg (B) I saw her working in the kitchen, juggling three chainsaws. Use a comma.

Let me comment that a comma is not 'a sacred piece of punctuation' that relates only to writing. It is just a way of representing where you would naturally pause in speaking.

In example A, I wouldn't naturally pause after 'kitchen' because what I am going to say next is so ordinary and so closely connected with what I just said.

In example B, I would pause after kitchen, because what I am going to say next is very unusual and not at all connected with what I just said.

If you are ever in doubt about a comma, it helps to think in this way about whether you would pause in speaking. Unfortunately, I know that this is hard if you are not a native speaker.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thanks again , Clive.