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Hi, this is a question that I was asked to answer. My answer follows the question. Can you please tell me if I answered it correctly.

Please tell me how this sentence can be changed to improve it, thanks.

1)"At this point, although it is far from certain, I imagine myself heading into the field of civil rights."


I have a question about the last sentence. Does it imply that it's far from certain that I'm heading into the field of civil rights or that it's far from certain that I imagine doing so?

Here is my answer (I just want to know if my answer is correct, not how you would answer it).

1)To make the last sentence clearer, you should place the dependent clause after the independent clause:

I imagine myself heading into the field of civil rights although at this point it is far from certain.

The comma can be omitted between the two clauses (between rights and although). Now it is clearer that you mean it is far from certain whether you will be heading into the field or not. Whereas before, it is unclear as you rightly asked.

Pronouns rename nouns. Your pronoun IT (it is far from certain) therefore renames the noun phrase, a gerund, 'heading into the field of civil rights'
This makes it clearer that you mean you imagine yourself heading there but it (heading there) is far from certain.

I am very uncertain as to whether it is a gerund.

Thanks.
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Comments  
It's a gerund phrase, unless I've been wrong about this for years!
Here's a reference to such, thanks to Purdue University.
--sandy
I imagine myself heading into the field of civil rights.
Eddie:
To determine if the -ing form of the verb is a gerund or a participle, you have to determine if it is being used as a noun or an adjective in the sentence.
I = subject
imagine = verb
myself = direct object of the verb
heading into the field of civil rights - an adjective phrase describing "myself". So "heading" is a participle.

Compare with this syntax:
I can well imagine heading into the field of civil rights
heading into the field of civil rights- is now a gerund phrase, direct object of the verb imagine.
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To determine whether it is a gerund or a participle phrase, could I just see if the verbal is following a noun because this would mean that it is an adjective as they only describe nouns... Would this be an accurate test to determine the type of phrase?

Thanks
Eddie881)To make the last sentence clearer, you should place the dependent clause after the independent clause:

I imagine myself heading into the field of civil rights although at this point it is far from certain.
I don't agree with this. although-clauses are very commonly placed before a main clause.
Eddie88Now it is clearer that you mean it is far from certain whether you will be heading into the field
Maybe so, but the small amount of added clarity is not enough to justify rearranging the whole sentence. I don't think any reader could seriously think that the uncertainty applies to the writers ability to use his imagination.
Eddie88the noun phrase, a gerund, 'heading into the field of civil rights' ... I am very uncertain as to whether it is a gerund.
It's a gerund.
Eddie88This makes it clearer that you mean you imagine yourself heading there but it (heading there) is far from certain.
It seems to me that you are repeating a point you already made earlier, if I understood your explanation correctly. Emotion: smile
Maybe you could just talk about the rearrangement of the clauses, then about the reference to "it", and then, only once, say that both of these things make the message clearer.
You have some good reasons to support your opinion, and I think you've presented them rather effectively. Emotion: smile
CJ
Oh, this is a tricky subject!I have found that it is better to analyze the syntax to make sure.
Gerunds always function as nouns. (subject, direct object, object of a preposition, etc.) and participles act as adjectives.
Gerunds are verbals, and can have their own subjects, too!
For example
I heard the dog's barking late last night.
The word "dog" is possessive case, and "barking" is a gerund. (direct object of "heard".)
Dog also functions as the subject of the verbal "barking".
I heard the barking dog late last night. - In this case "barking" is a participle, modifying "dog".
The confusion comes when we don't use the possessive case.
I heard the dog barking late last night.
Well, I have just spent some time reading over the section on gerunds in Fowler's book, which goes into some gory detail on this subject. Even though it looks like a participle, he regards it as a gerund..
So I have to correct my last post!
I can imagine my heading into the field... - a gerund phrase
So sorry!!
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Thank you .

Um, yes I agree with you when you said a dependent clause can precede a independent clause. I believe it adds variation to a piece of writing and thus is very effective.

I was merely saying it made the sentence a bit clearer, but I agree with what you said about the creativity of the writer.

Sorry for going off-track here, but I have two questions that have sprung to mind as I write this.

Firstly, the bold 'is' above, can it be omitted? why/why not? Is there certain times this be verb can be omitted?

Secondly, the bold 'sorry for going off-track, what kind of phrase would you call this? because i was just wondering whether the comma is neccessay after it, and I believe so if it is a introductory phrase..

Finally, with what you have mentioned above, you have a different answer to (sorry forgotten name) another post. He says it is a participle phrase...

Thanks
Eddie88To determine whether it is a gerund or a participle phrase, could I just see if the verbal is following a noun because this would mean that it is an adjective as they only describe nouns... Would this be an accurate test to determine the type of phrase?
Not 100%. Here's a verbal following a noun that is not an adjective.
Nothing mystifies beginners at chess so much as the maneuver castling.
This is a rare case where a gerund is an appositive.
____
But even if your algorithm were 100% accurate, it would merely decide that the post-nominal verbal is not a gerund, and is therefore a participle. How are you going to disambiguate -ing words that are in other positions in the sentence? The two sentences below both have an -ingword before a noun. How are you going to use your rule to pick out the gerund and the participle here? Emotion: stick out tongue
Faltering faith was his downfall.
Hunting fox was his hobby.
CJ
Thanks!

That is the first time you have not been 100% -I must be asking more complex questions now lol

Um, can you please answer these two trivial questions, too!

1) Um, yes I agree with you when you said a dependent clause can precede a independent clause. I believe it adds variation to a piece of writing and thus is very effective.

1)Firstly, the bold 'is' above, can it be omitted? why/why not? Is there certain times this be verb can be omitted?

2)Sorry for going off-track here, but I have two questions that have sprung to mind as I write this.

2)Secondly, the bold 'sorry for going off-track, what kind of phrase would you call this? because i was just wondering whether the comma is neccessay after it, and I believe so if it is a introductory phrase..

Sorry, they may seem random but I am curious and I imagine you'll know the answer again lol

Cheers.
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