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Hi, everybody,

Please, help me on this. I understand the constructs:

a) I saw him walk along the street. (= He walked along and I saw him)

b) I saw him walking along the street. (= He was walking along and I saw him)

My doubts begin with other sentences, mainly negatives and questions in this kind of constructs:

First doubt: Can I say?

1.1 “Did Peter see Susan cook?” (= Susan cooked, Peter saw her did that, and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw it)

1.2 “Did Peter see Susan cooking?” (= Susan was cooking, Peter saw her doing that, and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw that)

2.1 Did Peter see the accident happen?” (= The accident happened, Peter saw it and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw it)

2.2 Did Peter see the accident happening?”

I think this “2.2” “ing” question is wrong, because the verb “to happen” cannot be used in this context. But if this “2.2” construct is possible, what’s the meaning of this question? Could you use other words to say the same, please?

Second doubt: Could I say?

3.1 I didn’t hear you come in. (You came in and I did not hear you)

3.2 I didn’t hear you coming in. (You were coming in and I did not hear you)

4.1 She noticed her little boy drink a beer. (The little boy drank a beer and she noticed that)

4.2 She noticed her little boy drinking a beer. (The little boy was drinking a beer and she noticed that)

Third doubt:

Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “4.1”: She noticed her little boy drank a beer?

Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “Liz felt something touch her on the hand”: Liz felt something touched her on the hand?

Fourth doubt:

“I found my dog eating my lunch”. But I cannot find an example for this kind of constructs with the verb “to find” and the other verb in infinitive. Could you help me?:

I found my dog do (?) something.

And thank you in advance,

Eladio
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Hola Eladio,

Please, help me on this. I understand the constructs:

a) I saw him walk along the street. (= He walked along and I saw him)

b) I saw him walking along the street. (= He was walking along and I saw him)

My doubts begin with other sentences, mainly negatives and questions in this kind of constructs:

First doubt: Can I say?

1.1 “Did Peter see Susan cook?” (= Susan cooked, Peter saw her did that, and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw it) Yes

1.2 “Did Peter see Susan cooking?” (= Susan was cooking, Peter saw her doing that, and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw that) Yes

2.1 Did Peter see the accident happen?” (= The accident happened, Peter saw it and I’m questioning somebody if Peter saw it) Yes

2.2 Did Peter see the accident happening?”

I think this “2.2” “ing” question is wrong, because the verb “to happen” cannot be used in this context. But if this “2.2” construct is possible, what’s the meaning of this question? Could you use other words to say the same, please? This seems OK to me. Peter was watching while the accident was happening. 'Did Peter see the accident happen?' Sinc, generally speaking, most accidents have a short duration, I think the continuous would be used less often.

Second doubt: Could I say?

3.1 I didn’t hear you come in. (You came in and I did not hear you) Yes

3.2 I didn’t hear you coming in. (You were coming in and I did not hear you) Yes. Very similar to 3.1

4.1 She noticed her little boy drink a beer. (The little boy drank a beer and she noticed that) Yes. (A slightly odd example, as she would normally intervene and stop the act of drinking)

4.2 She noticed her little boy drinking a beer. (The little boy was drinking a beer and she noticed that)Yes

Third doubt:

Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “4.1”: She noticed her little boy drank a beer? The past tense here focuses a bit more on the drinking as an act in the past. In short, it somewhat implies she had no concern about the fact that her little boy might be developing bad habits.

Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “Liz felt something touch her on the hand”: Liz felt something touched her on the hand? Similar comment to the above. The past tense merely 'records'. 'Felt something touch' puts us in the moment with Liz. She screams, and the reader 'screams' with her.

Fourth doubt:

“I found my dog eating my lunch”. But I cannot find an example for this kind of constructs with the verb “to find” and the other verb in infinitive. Could you help me?:

'I found my dog to eat my lunch.' This means I found my dog because I wanted it then to eat my lunch. Or possibly I wanted to eat my dog for lunch. Clearly these are rather odd meanings.

Best wishes, Clive
Hola Clive,

I need to think a little on these constructs before saying that I understood all what you said. Thanks a lots for the detailed comment. I sent you an email few days ago. Did you receive it?

Eladio
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Hi,

Yes, I did.

Clive
Dear Clive,

Could you please go to http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/ValidateElucidate/ckkpw/Post.htm

?

I would like to know how you pronounce the words

Thanks loads!
Thank you Clive for your comment. Now my doubts about this:

1.- You gave me the example: I found my dog to eat my lunch. Okay, but could I say: I found my dog eat my lunch. What that means?

2.- You and me wrote: Third doubt. Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “4.1”: She noticed her little boy drank a beer? The past tense here focuses a bit more on the drinking as an act in the past. In short, it somewhat implies she had no concern about the fact that her little boy might be developing bad habits.

Then, is it correct to say, for example: She noticed that her husband bought her a new car for her birthday, but she said nothing until today. Or, following the rules, have I to say: She noticed her husband buy her a new car for her birthday, but she said nothing until today.

3.- You and me wrote: 4.1 She noticed her little boy drink a beer. (The little boy drank a beer and she noticed that) Yes. (A slightly odd example, as she would normally intervene and stop the act of drinking)

Then, would be correct to say: She noticed her little boy drink a beer but she doesn’t care. I don’t understand, she didn’t intervene nor stop her boy. Or:

She noticed her little boy drinking a beer. These mooodern-day boys and mothers…!

4.- I can say: What do you advise me to do? But can I say: What do you advise doing in this situation.

Eladio
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Hola Eladio,

1.- You gave me the example: I found my dog to eat my lunch. <<<< This was a correct but facetious example. You would never say this. That's why I said it was rather odd. It's very odd. Okay, but could I say: I found my dog eat my lunch. No. Say 'I found (that) my dog ate my lunch'.

2.- You and me wrote: Third doubt. Is it not better to say, with the same meaning and instead of “4.1”: She noticed her little boy drank a beer? The past tense here focuses a bit more on the drinking as an act in the past. In short, it somewhat implies she had no concern about the fact that her little boy might be developing bad habits.

Then, is it correct to say, for example: She noticed that her husband bought her a new car for her birthday, but she said nothing until today. <<< Yes, OK. Or, following the rules, have I to say: She noticed her husband buy her a new car for her birthday, but she said nothing until today. No.

3.- You and me wrote: 4.1 She noticed her little boy drink a beer. (The little boy drank a beer and she noticed that) Yes. (A slightly odd example, as she would normally intervene and stop the act of drinking)

Then, would be correct to say: She noticed her little boy drink a beer but she doesn’t (OK, but you need to say 'didn't', it's a past reference) OKcare. I don’t understand, she didn’t intervene nor stop her boy. Or:

She noticed her little boy drinking a beer. These mooodern-day boys and mothers…! OK

4.- I can say: What do you advise me to do? But can I say: What do you advise doing in this situation.Yes. The former asks me what my advice for you is. The latter asks me what my advice, in general, ie for anyone, is.

Best wishes, Clive
Okay, Clive. Thank you again. And again you have put me to think about all this. I hope I'll get it this time.

Eladio
Hi Clive. We can say:

Liz felt something touching her on the hand.

Liz felt something touch her on the hand. (We don’t say “touched”)

And we can say: I found my dog eating my lunch.

Now, please, why on earth I cannot say:Emotion: surprise

I found my dog eat my lunch.

This maybe is not the same type of grammatical construction? Is Liz privileged in respect of a dog, maybe? [6]

Eladio
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