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Gerunds and Present Participles

 

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  #1  
Old January 17, 2010, 04:40 AM
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Question Gerunds and Present Participles

A good example of how much I'm learning about English grammar as I study the Spanish.....

So this morning I've been reading about verbs. The book that I picked up starts (page 1) with "present participles in English". Hmmm, present participle. I didn't really know, exactly, what that is. Keep reading, Lou Ann.

So, here's what I've learned ... and it is EXTREMELY helpful.

In English, we have "gerunds" and "present participles". They are verbs ending in "-ing". Gerunds are when these -ing verbs are used as nouns. The present participles are when they are used (1) progressively, (2) modifying a noun/verb/clause.

(My problem was that, up until now, I always thought that all verbs ending in "-ing" were gerunds ... now I know!)

Examples in English:
Gerund: Reading is good.
Participle used progressively: I am reading right now.
Participle modifying a noun: Today is a good reading day.

In Spanish, I NOW see that the parallel to the English gerund, you use the infinitive: Leer es bueno.

And, in Spanish, the participle is used as follows:
Estoy leyendo.

The first of my other two examples:
Estoy leyendo.

How would you translate the second?

But I'm still having a bit of trouble finding the similar constructions for the participle uses in Spanish. It doesn't seem to be only the -ando and -iendo endings for present participles, right? How else does that work?

¡Gracias de antemano!
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  #2  
Old January 17, 2010, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
present participle. I didn't really know, exactly, what that is. Keep reading,
Nice irony
Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Examples in English:
Gerund: Reading is good.
Participle used progressively: I am reading right now.
Participle modifying a noun: Today is a good reading day.
Participle modifying a noun: Today is a good reading day. I can't agree that this is a participle. It is a shorter version of Today is a good day for reading. Reading is a gerund here. In Today is a good reading day, the (noun) gerund is used adjectivally.

I'll have a shot at Hoy es un día bueno para leer.
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  #3  
Old January 17, 2010, 05:26 AM
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So, would you please give me English and Spanish examples of reading/leer used as a participle? Thanks!!
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Old January 17, 2010, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
So, would you please give me English and Spanish examples of reading/leer used as a participle? Thanks!!
Yet again, there is a confusing difference in terminolgy in English and Spanish. The English present participle is called a gerund in Spanish. Have a look here and tell me what you think.
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Old January 17, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Keep reading, Lou Ann.
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Nice irony
I was typing from my phone earlier, so it was difficult to answer as I would have liked. The irony was actually not intended. So, would that one be "Segue leyendo, Lou Ann"?

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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Participle modifying a noun: Today is a good reading day. I can't agree that this is a participle. It is a shorter version of Today is a good day for reading. Reading is a gerund here. In Today is a good reading day, the (noun) gerund is used adjectivally.

I'll have a shot at Hoy es un día bueno para leer.
Okay - that totally works for me. It's what I was stuck on....

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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Yet again, there is a confusing difference in terminolgy in English and Spanish. The English present participle is called a gerund in Spanish. Have a look here and tell me what you think.
I like that link. Some of about.com's stuff doesn't really work for me, but sometimes they have THE perfect balance of comprehensive yet not *too much*.

Anyway - let me take another stab at some examples of uses of present participles in English and Spanish, using some of what about.com has....

I am eating popcorn.
Estoy comiendo palomitas de maíz.

By arriving early, I can practice my music for a few minutes.
Llegando más temprano, puedo practicar la música para unos pocos minutos.

Talking is my favorite activity.
Hablar es mi actividad favorita.

I will sit in the waiting-room while you see the doctor.
Voy a sentarme en la sala de espera mientras ves el médico.

I am staying home tomorrow. It's my day off.
Voy a quedarme en casa mañana. Es un día de vacación.

How'd I do?
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  #6  
Old January 17, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
I was typing from my phone earlier, so it was difficult to answer as I would have liked. The irony was actually not intended. So, would that one be "Segue leyendo, Lou Ann"?
Sigue leyendo.


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Talking is my favorite activity.
Hablar es mi actividad favorita.
I can't comment on the Spanish (which looks OK) but I'm glad I can switch my computer off!
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Old January 17, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Sigue leyendo.

I can't comment on the Spanish (which looks OK) but I'm glad I can switch my computer off!
If the imperative is sigue and not segue, then the Tomisimo conjugation for the imperative is wrong. Take a look in the dictionary.

I'd love to hear from someone on the Spanish.........

(Thanks for your help with this, Perikles - you tend to answer questions the way I need!)
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  #8  
Old January 17, 2010, 12:27 PM
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"Sigue" is correct (segue ).

And "vacaciones" is always plural. Mañana es festivo o es día de fiesta.
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Old January 17, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
I am eating popcorn.
Estoy comiendo palomitas de maíz.

By arriving early, I can practice my music for a few minutes.
Llegando más temprano, puedo practicar la música por unos pocos minutos más.
No sé si está bien. A mí me suena mal. Prefiero: Por llegar más temprano, puedo practicar la música por unos pocos minutos más.

o

Al llegar más temprano, puedo practicar la música por unos pocos minutos más.

Talking is my favorite activity.
Hablar es mi actividad favorita.

I will sit in the waiting-room while you see the doctor.
Me sentaré en la sala de espera mientras ves al doctor/médico.

Voy a sentarme en la sala de espera mientras ves el médico.
I am going to sit in the waiting room while you see the doctor.

I am staying home tomorrow. It's my day off.
Me estoy quedando en la casa mañana. Es mi día libre.

I am going to stay at home tomorrow. It my day off.
Voy a quedarme en casa mañana. Es un día de vacación.

How'd I do?
Keep in mind that your are correct, but I like to say the same when possible in both language.

Whether they are grammatically correct, that remains to be seen.
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  #10  
Old January 17, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
"Sigue" is correct (segue ).

And "vacaciones" is always plural. Mañana es festivo o es día de fiesta.
Thanks, Irmamar. [Edited for stupidity of the current poster...........] And sorry, Hernán - now I see your corrections. THANKS!!

So, if it's not really a day of parties (well, some might party, but not everyone) ... it's just a day off of work because it's Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It's kind of like when we have President's Day holiday - it's just a day off of work in honor of the birthdays of several US presidents. Is it still called festivo o es día de fiesta?
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Last edited by laepelba; January 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM. Reason: DOH!!
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