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Hi,

I'm reading the wikipedia article on gerunds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund#Gerunds_in_English ). I stumbled across something on that page which has always confused me; namely, this:

  • The police advised us not to enter the building, for a murder had occurred. (Us is the object of advised.)
  • The police advised against our entering the building. (Our is used for the gerund entering.
So, the article says that the gerund entering is used in the second example because no object is present. In the first example, us is the object and so no the gerund is not used. This make sense, but is it as simple as that, for instance, if I re-factor the second sentence:
  • The police advised us against our entering the building.
Is that wrong? I know I could leave the personal pronoun our out of that sentence, but I'm more concerned with understanding why it's wrong, rather than fixing the sentence. I have an object, a personal pronoun, and a gerund: they don't read too well together, but it doesn't feel wrong; could someone explain? I hope I don't sound horribly confused.

Should I just assume that if there is no object, use a personal pronoun and a gerund, and if there is an object, use neither?

Thanks for any help.

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From the Wiki article:

advise, recommend and forbid:

These are followed by a to-infinitive when there is an object as well, but by a gerund otherwise.

* The police advised us not to enter the building, for a murder had occurred. (Us is the object of advised.)
* The police advised against our entering the building. (Our is used for the gerund entering.)
___________

I have to say that I find this information inaccurate. The rule and examples are only suggestive of the sorts of patterns that are possible. They should not be taken as an in-depth analysis of the grammar of these verbs that is thorough enough to allow you determine whether any given sentence with these verbs is grammatical. I don't even see why these three verbs are grouped together, because recommend seems different from the others.

I advise you to go. < the usual form

I advise going.
I advise your going.
I advise you your going.


I recommend you to go. < ???

I recommend going. < the usual form

I recommend your going.
I recommend you your going.

I forbid you to go. < the usual form

I forbid going. < ???

I forbid your going.
I forbid you your going.
______________

The police advised us against our entering the building. < Sounds OK to me, if a bit redundant.

CJ
Comments  
Actually, in my third example:
  • The police advised us against our entering the building.
I said in my original post that I could fix it by leaving our out, but that would be wrong, too, wouldn't it? If the gerund is only present when no object is present, then that example would have an object and a gerund. I'm definitely really confused, now.
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Hi,
The police advised us against our entering the building.
The police advised us against entering the building.

I wouldn't say these are wrong.

Clive
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thanks for your responses, they are very informative. Lesson learnt: don't assume Wikipedia is accurate. I just bought a large grammar text-book!
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