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Archive Language Point 84

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Verb + verb-ing

Tim at work in the shop

Background

When a verb is followed by another verb, the second verb must be either an infinitive with 'to' such as 'to do', 'to make', 'to go' etc. or an -ing form such as 'doing', 'making', 'going'. In this episode of The Flatmates, the police officer says 'Would you mind answering a few questions...?' The form of the second verb depends on the first verb, and/or the speaker's intended meaning.

Some of the rules about verb + verb-ing are given here.

Basic verbs

Verb-ing is used after these verbs:

 admit  avoid  consider  deny  fancy
 finish  hate  imagine  mind  love
 postpone  regret  risk  stop  suggest

Examples:
The children admitted taking the sweets.
I considered becoming a singer when I left school.
Do you fancy going to see a movie tonight?
Would you mind opening the window? It's rather hot in here.
He suggested eating out, but I had already prepared dinner at home.

Phrasal verbs

Verb-ing is used after these phrasal verbs:

 carry on  give up  go on  keep on  put off

Examples:
The children carried on playing even though it had started to rain.
I gave up smoking 3 years ago.
The teacher went on talking even though some of the students weren't listening.
Why do you keep on eating fatty food when you know it's bad for you?

Negatives

To make the -ing verb negative, use not:

Would you mind not making so much noise?
I like not having to get up early at weekends.

Somebody

It is possible to use the structure verb + somebody + verb-ing:

I can't imagine you living in a foreign country.
I don't like you telling me what to do all the time.

In the passive form, use being and the past participle:

I don't like being told what to do all the time.

Vocabulary

authenticity (n)
the quality or condition of being real, trustworthy, or genuine

in doubt
under question, not fully believed

at some length
thoroughly, completely or repeatedly; for a long time

as it happens
this is an informal expression which means 'actually'

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