Noun-Verb Combinations

In my post of 6 October 2010 in Grammar for Grown-ups (one of my previous blogs), I discussed the use of the -ing form of the verb, and in particular the different nuances available depending on whether the -ing form is preceded by a possessive determiner or possessive noun or by a personal pronoun in the accusative case or an unmarked noun. These are but two of the possibilities which various combinations of noun and verb allow. The full range is shown in the following examples from ‘A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language’ by Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech and Svartvik, for which I am indebted to David Crystal  in his blog post of 27 August 2008, ‘On Nominalisation’. Examples 4-7 are relevant to the use of the -ing form as previously discussed.

(1) some paintings of Brown’s
(a) ‘some paintings that Brown owns’
(b) ‘some paintings painted by Brown’

(2) Brown’s paintings of his daughter
(a) ‘paintings depicting his daughter and painted by him’
(b) ‘paintings depicting his daughter and painted by someone else but owned by him’

(3) The painting of Brown is as skilful as that of Gainsborough
(a) ‘Brown’s mode of painting’
(b) ‘Brown’s action of painting’

(4) Brown’s deft painting of his daughter is a delight to watch
‘It is a delight to watch while Brown deftly paints his daughter’

(5) Brown’s deftly painting his daughter is a delight to watch
= 3a or 4

(6) I dislike Brown’s painting his daughter
(a) ‘I dislike the fact that Brown does it’
(b) ‘I dislike the way that Brown does it’

(7) I dislike Brown painting his daughter (when she ought to be at school)
= 6a

(8) I watched Brown painting his daughter
(a) ‘I watched Brown as he painted his daughter’
(b) ‘I watched the process of Brown painting his daughter’

(9) Brown deftly painting his daughter is a delight to watch
= 3b or 4

(10) Painting his daughter, Brown noticed that his hand was shaking ‘While he was painting his daughter…’

(11) Brown painting his daughter that day, I decided to go for a walk
‘Since Brown was painting …’

(12) The man paintng the girl is Brown
‘The man who is painting…’

(13) The silently painting man is Brown
‘The man who is silently painting’

(14) Brown is painting his daughter

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