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I heard the two of them talking/talk about you when you were away.

I heard him sing/singing in the bathroom.

She saw him chatting/chat on the phone in the hallway.

I was watching my dog lick/licking his paws.

I have problems differentiating the sentences above. To me, the inclusion of 'ing' makes the sentences smoother and implies the actions occupy a longer period of time.

This has been bothering me for a long time.

Thanks in advance
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New2grammarI have problems differentiating the sentences above. To me, the inclusion of 'ing' makes the sentences smoother and implies the actions occupy a longer period of time.
Hi N2G

That is often the case. It seems more descriptive. If oy say I saw him cross the street, the implication is you saw the entire action. However, in many cases there is no actual difference between the two verb forms.

Cheers
CB
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They were talking makes you think you are there, watching them as they talk.
They talked doesn't make you think that. You're just remembering something that happened.

I heard them talking is like They were talking, and I heard them.
I heard them talk is like They talked, and I heard them.

CJ