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Hi All,

Can any one clarify why this is wrong ?

Any allegations of John being involved in that kind of crime are purely ridiculous.

Well, according to grammarians, the above statement is wrong and that correct version
has John's being involved. For some reason, John's doesn't sound correct to me..Since
we are using being, we don't need the possessive form, correct? I am not sure, what's it
abt this example that is so much confusing abt it..

Possessive form would be needed if sentence were changed to

Any allegations of John's involving in that kind of crime are purely ridiculous.

thanks in advance,
Sharad
Comments  
Hello Sharad

I would say like:
Any allegations of John's involvement in the crime are ridiculous.
or (though very stilted)
Any allegations of John's being involved in the crime are ridiculous.

Note-1) : "Involve" is a transitive verb.
i.e., "John was involved in the crime".
Note-2) : (x) "Someone alleged somebody"
(o) "Someone alleged something"

paco
Hello Sharad

In English, there is some relation between a noun phrase and its corresponding sentence from which the noun phrase is made.
The army destroyed the city. --> the army's destruction of the city.
The city was destroyed (by the army). --> the city's destruction (by the army).

paco
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why this is wrong
I'm not completely convinced that it is wrong. It's just in a lower register, less formal.
Still, I do see the point that we allege something, not someone.
On the other hand, we allege something of someone, so why not allege 'being involved ...' of John?

As for possessives not being used before "being", in contrast to other verbs, I think this is distinctly off the track. The possessives are frequently used in that position no matter what the verb, and there is no special rule regarding "being".

One possible source for this idea is that "there" has no possessive form, so the following sort of pattern results:

"They objected to there being so many unqualified people on the panel."

In this case the dummy subject "there" (as in "There are so many unqualified people ...") must remain as is, forming a pattern with a non-possessive before "being".

With cases where a possessive is possible, we have both patterns:

"They objected to my being late" and, less formally, "They objected to me being late".

CJ
Hello guys

I might be wrong as usual, but at least in writing level I differentiate the use "a person + ing" and that of "a person's + ing" in a way like : when the verb can take a person as its object, use "a person + ing", and when the verb cannot take a person as its object, use "a person's + ing". In the case of "allege", this verb cannot take a person as its object. So I would say "They alleged his killing her at the hotel" rather than "They alleged him killing her at the hotel", though both constructions sound a bit weird. On the other hand, the rule in converting a sentence in active voice to a noun phrase is : <S V O> to <S's V of O>. For example, "They alleged his killing her" could be nominalized into a phrase like "(their) allegation of his killing her". So in the case of "They alleged John's being involved in the crime" could be nominalized into a phrase "allegation of John's being involved in the crime". Anyway, the point lies in the problem whether we can accept a construct like "They alleged John doing something" or not.

paco
So I would say "They alleged his killing her at the hotel" rather than "They alleged him killing her at the hotel", though both constructions sound a bit weird.
They do sound weird; I think I'd have to say "They alleged that he had killed her".

MrP
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SharadPossessive form would be needed if sentence were changed to

Any allegations of John's involving in that kind of crime are purely ridiculous.

Hello Sharad

This wouldn't be possible, unfortunately: you have to use a form of "to be involved in", in this context. Cf.

1. MrQ is involved in money-laundering.

2. MissQ involved MissP in money-laundering.

MrP
SharadHi All,

Can any one clarify why this is wrong ?

Any allegations of John being involved in that kind of crime are purely ridiculous.

Well, according to grammarians, the above statement is wrong and that correct version
has John's being involved. For some reason, John's doesn't sound correct to me..Since
we are using being, we don't need the possessive form, correct? I am not sure, what's it
abt this example that is so much confusing abt it..

Possessive form would be needed if sentence were changed to

Any allegations of John's involving in that kind of crime are purely ridiculous.

thanks in advance,
Sharad


Sharad,

The key qestion one has to ask is whether 'being' is a gerund or not. There is no doubt it is a gerund because it is the object of a preposition.
The implied subect of a gerund is the possessive form. That is why 'John's being involved' is correct. As you know, 'John's involving' is wrong in the context.

John being involved in that kind of crime, she left him.

In this sentence, John is the implied subject of the present participle form in a non-finite clause.

One can clearly see the distinction.

pine