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1. He spends a lot of time entertaining friends.
2. He spends a lot of time on entertaining friends.
3. He spends a lot of time in entertaining friends.
#1 is correct. Are #2 and #3 also acceptable?
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Teo1. He spends a lot of time entertaining friends.
2. He spends a lot of time on entertaining friends.
3. He spends a lot of time in entertaining friends.
#1 is correct. Are #2 and #3 also acceptable?
2 and 3 do not sound natural to me. You might be able to find a few examples on the Internet but I doubt they are right. Spend time are used as shown below:

1. spend time doing something.
2. spend time with somebody.
3. spend time at / in a place.

Best,
Hoa Thai

Comments  
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No, but [spend time on + NP] is possible (e.g. 'spend time on homework') where the NP is not a gerund with verbal force.

http://www.englishclub.com/esl-forums/viewtopic.php?p=337312#337312
Hi, TEO,

What is NP? I googled it for grammar and thousands of refrences come up. They all assume, as you do, that we know what it is!

Thanks for your reply.
AnonymousHi, TEO,

What is NP? I googled it for grammar and thousands of refrences come up. They all assume, as you do, that we know what it is!

Thanks for your reply.

Hi Anon,

NP = noun phrase. What Teo answers to his own question is that spend time on + noun phrase is an acceptable construct, as long as the noun phrase does not start with a gerund.

People also use spend time on to mean help / do a favor.

Best,
Hoa Thai
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