In the grammars I’ve found a list of the verbs that must be followed by a gerund. It’s a pity that the grammars don’t explain what happens when the following verb has got a different subject from the first verb. I’ve read that you can say: I don’t like him playing tennis… Is this construction (accusative + gerund) always possible? … greetings. Claudio

I don’t like him/Tom playing tennis is absolutely correct. You could also say I don’t like his playing tennis. However I don’t like Tom’s playing tennis does not, for some bizarre reason, sound equally perfect. I’d stick to accusative + -ing. (F.H.)

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4 Responses to “verb+gerund”

  1. I thank F.H. for the answer… I intended asking you as well if it’s possible for us to use accusative + gerund with other verbs that should be followed by a gerund having a different subject from governing verb’s: for instance to admit(I admit you/your/Tom being right), to avoid(I can’t avoid you/your/Tom running such a danger), to consider(I’m considering you/your/Tom having to buy a car), to dread
    (I dread you/your/Tom being in a danger), to remember (I remenber you/your/Tom always
    crying as a child) and so on about all the verbs that must or can be followed by a gerund (a part, of course, from those verbs
    whose following gerund can’t have a different subject, for instance to finish, to keep on…). I beg your pardon for my insisting on this matter…

    • I am not sure I understand ‘that so should be…’
      Anyway, if your query is ‘is it possible with verbs other than “like”’ the answer is yes.
      However, in your list, the verb ‘consider’ does not sound quite right: why would you consider something which has nothing to do with you? The same goes for ‘dread’. It does not sound quite right. How about: I dread the fact that you/Tom might be in (no article) danger?

      P.S. Looking for an underlying pattern or logic is brilliant. But your starting point ought always to be texts you are analysing and trying to make sense of, written by native speakers of English, authoritative, reliable native speakers of English, e.g. a good dictionary or grammar book published in the UK. Being adventurous is fine. Being cautious even more so? (Frances Hotimsky)

      • Dear Frances Hotimsky, don’t be afraid: you haven’t to answer this message. I wish only to make you sure you have understood very well what I wrote very badly. I won’t use “to consider” and “to dread” followed by accusative + gerund, even if it seems strange that someone can’t “consider” or “dread” something about other people, also because I’ve found in a reliable dictionary: “I don’t consider him to be suitable” and “They dreaded that we wouldn’t help them”.
        I prefer thinking that’s another example showing the extreme faintness of the rules in English… And that counts for instance in the pronunciation, in the possessive case, in the nouns used as adjectives and so on.
        Thank you and regards from Claudio.
        P.S. See (even better write)you on the next

  2. “I don’t like Tom’s playing tennis” would have no sense in English. “I don’t like Tom’s way of playing tennis” is correct, but then it doesn’t have the same meaning as the sentence above:)

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