Predicative Constructions with the Gerund




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Predicative Constructions with the Gerund
The Gerund can form predicative constructions, in which the verbal element expressed by the Gerund is in predicative relations to the nominal element expressed by a noun or a pronoun:

e.g. I don't like your going off without money.

The nominal element of the construction can be expressed in different ways:

1. If it denotes a living being it may be expressed:

  • by a possessive pronoun:

e.g. Do you mind my smoking?

  • by a noun in the common or the possessive case:

e.g. I have recollection of Ann’s (Ann) getting married.

Note: The two constructions may be used indifferently, but sometimes there is a slight difference in meaning: in the first case the action (the verbal element of the construction) is emphasized, whereas in the second case the doer of the action (the nominal element of the construction) is emphasized.

There are cases when the nominal element of the construction, though denoting a living being, cannot be expressed by a noun in the possessive case, but only by a noun in the common case:

a) when it consists of two or more nouns:

e.g. ^ I object to Mary and Jane going out on such a windy day.

b) when it is a noun modified by an attribute in postposition:

e.g. Did you ever hear of a man of sense rejecting such an offer?

2. If it denotes a lifeless thing it is expressed:

  • by a noun in the common case:

e.g. I said something about my clock being slow.

  • by a possessive pronoun:

e.g. She spoke of my room and of its being ready for me at night.

3. It may be expressed by a pronoun which has no case distinctions, such as all, this, that, both, each, something:

e.g. I insist on both of them coming in time.
Such constructions may function as a complex subject, object, attribute or adverbial modifier.

A Gerundial construction used as a subject is often introduced by an anticipatory it:

e.g. It was quite unexpected his coming back so soon.
A Gerundial construction is nearly always rendered in Ukrainian by a subordinate clause:

Her thoughts were interrupted at last by the door opening gently. – Її думки були, нарешті, перервані тим, що двері тихенько відчинились.


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