+0
Yesterday, while reading some of the questions and explanations on the forum I came upon an example which (that?) made me think of the proper use of a gerund, an infinitive and a bare infinitive.I decided to look it up and the information I found was that there are verbs followed by a gerund and there a verbs followed by an infinitive;there are some that are followed by both with a change of meaning and others that are followed by both without a change of meaning.Most of the rules seem to be more or less clear, but there is one part where I got really confused. It says that gerunds can often be modified with possessive forms. The examples given were:
I enjoyed their singing.
She understood his saying not to her offer.
If you don't mind my asking...
I don't quite understand the possessive form used in these sentences. I would've said:
I enjoyed them singing.
She understood him saying no to her offer.
If you don't mind me asking. and etc
Are my sentences wrong?
Comments  
Agaristathere is one part where I got really confused. It says that gerunds can often be modified with possessive forms. The examples given were: I enjoyed their singing.
The gerund is a form of noun, but it retains the character of a verb, in its possibility for having a subject and object.

The reason why the possessive is used is because that is normal for nouns. For example we write this:

I love his new necktie.

and not this:
I love him new necktie.

So when you say:
I love his singing.

We use the possessive because the singing is what you love and the singing is his (belongs to him)

Now where it gets confusing, is when the verb form is used as a modifier, not as a noun.

For example:

I hear the crying baby.
I hear the baby crying.

Here, crying can be interpreted as a modifier of baby.

When we say "I hear the baby's crying."
It is the crying belonging to the baby that we hear.

When we say "I hear the baby crying." we mean we hear the baby who is crying.

There is a section here and possessives and gerunds: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/gerunds.htm
Agarista… I came upon an example which (that?) …
Either. If you ask me, it's preferable to use the relative pronoun which in nonrestrictive clauses only.
AgaristaAre my sentences wrong?
In terms of strict grammar, yes.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
As usual your answers are very helpful, thanks a lot. I did a quiz and since it was a multiple choice I got most of them right.
Our teacher won't tolerate our being late for class.
Do you prefer Ester's helping you or my helping you.
Frederick and I discussed the computer's costing more than we can afford. etc
But what about here:
The math teacher doesn't allow us to use calculators.(this was given as the correct answer.) I'm just wondering if it would be also possible to say:The math teacher doesn't allow our using calculators.
Are these forms common? Or is it better to avoid them? I remember a friend of mine (a native speaker) once asked me:" Do you mind us coming in?" Was she supposed to say :" Do you mind our coming in?" The second version seems so unnatural to me. I guess I should pay more attention to grammar when I read books in written in English.
Aspara Gus, thank you, now you made me think of the use of which vs that and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses...Great! Emotion: thinking

Just when I thought I had no more questions...
AgaristaThe math teacher doesn't allow us to use calculators.(this was given as the correct answer.) I'm just wondering if it would be also possible to say:The math teacher doesn't allow our using calculators.
Yes, it's possible, but that doesn't mean you should say it. No one talks like that.
AgaristaI remember a friend of mine (a native speaker) once asked me:" Do you mind us coming in?" Was she supposed to say :" Do you mind our coming in?"
Again, according to strict grammar, the second is correct. The most natural phrasing would be Do you mind if we come in?
AgaristaAspara Gus, thank you, now you made me think of the use of which vs that and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses...Great!
These articles should help you:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/which-versus-that.aspx

http://www.kentlaw.edu/academics/lrw/grinker/LwtaThat_Versus_Which.htm
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
AgaristaThe math teacher doesn't allow us to use calculators.(this was given as the correct answer.) I'm just wondering if it would be also possible to say:The math teacher doesn't allow our using calculators.
Here's a handy resource ( http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_catenative_verbs ) on catenative verbs.
Allow:
In the active voice, the infinitive is used only with a subject - The school allows us to wait for our parents in the front office. Our landlord allows us to pay the rent a few days late. .

However, to me, the gerund is much more formal. (We do not allow smoking at any time during the flight.)
Agarista remember a friend of mine (a native speaker) once asked me:" Do you mind us coming in?" Was she supposed to say :" Do you mind our coming in?"
Many native speakers use the object case of a pronoun when the possessive case is called for by traditional rules of grammar..
It is just so natural to use the object case after a verb, that we forget that the possessive is used for the subject of a gerund.

It's another rule of traditional grammar that is being eroded away with time.