1. Darkhorse
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    Darkhorse Member

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    -ed vs. -ing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Darkhorse, Mar 26, 2013.

    I have been sitting in front of the computer for far to long, writing, and I am now having a mental blank about verbs ending with -ing. My girlfriend started this process by questioning some of my tense uses and now I don't know where I stand. So, if someone could put me back on the right track that would be great.

    My understanding is that by adding -ing to a verb it means the verb is being done at that moment. So, I often describe an action, then use a -ing after a comma to describe other actions being performed simultaneously. E.g.

    Is that correct? Or is there an tense issue when you add -ing to a verb?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    Yes, your examples are all past tense. (I'd knock the question mark off the end of the second example, though.)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agreed... on both counts... and 'rowboat' is a single word...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Verbs with an -ing ending are present participles. They are not used as stad0-alone verbs. Either they are combined with auxiliary verbs to form compound tenses which have a component o ongoing action, or used in participle phrases, as in your examples, to indicate simultaneous action.

    Be careful with participle phrases. The action indicated by the phrase should cover the same time span as the action of the main verb. So it would be incorrect to say:

    (Unless that same piece of metal surrounds the park, and your character is a masochist).

    Participle phrases are very commonly misused in this manner, so the "sounds wrong" test isn't very reliable.

    As for compound verb tenses, make sure you understand the full meaning of each such tense you use.
     
  5. Darkhorse
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    Darkhorse Member

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    Thank for all the replies :)

    I think that might have been where I was going wrong. I'll have to check my work. Cheers, your explanation cleared up the issue for me.
     

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