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preceding gerund with ing verb

 
 
Reply Sat 11 Mar, 2017 09:58 pm
You could easily solve your problem by stopping talking to her.

Is this sentence awkward or ungrammatical?

Thank you.

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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 850 • Replies: 14
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layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 01:18 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

You could easily solve your problem by stopping talking to her.

Is this sentence awkward or ungrammatical?

Thank you.




Yeah, it is, if you ask me. I would replace "stopping" with "not"--you could add "any more," at the end if you wanted to make it clear that prior communication existed.

If you wanted to get more high falutin about it, I suppose you could replace "stopping talking" with something like "ceasing communication."

If you wanted to be less so, you could just say "Stop talking to her sorry ass, fool."
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 01:40 am
Although multiple -ing endings may "sound awkward" (or "look awkward") there is no grammatical reason to avoid them.

The contractor is delaying building the front porch.
We’re risking missing our plane.
I'm imagining writing a silly ending to this answer.

Three in a row is unusual but tolerable:
Some doctors are considering stopping recommending high-carbohydrate diets.

Four in a row sounds silly, though it’s still grammatically correct:
I’m enjoying imagining finishing writing this answer.

layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 01:45 am
@centrox,
Your examples are OK, but, still, something just aint right about the phrase "stopping talking."
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 02:23 am
@layman,
layman wrote:
Your examples are OK, but, still, something just aint right about the phrase "stopping talking."

According to the The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, certain verbs are subject to 'double-ing constraint', that is, they should not be used in this way. The clearest cases are aspectual verbs such as begin, cease, continue, start, stop, and verbs taking concealed passives, like need. However there is a good deal of variation between speakers as to their acceptance of the construction.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 09:06 am
@centrox,
Would the sentence sound less awkward if it included the possessive pronoun?

You could easily solve this problem by stopping your talking to her.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 09:33 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

Would the sentence sound less awkward if it included the possessive pronoun?

You could easily solve this problem by stopping your talking to her.


Yeah, that would be much better, but it's still not a good way to say it, if you ask me. Just juggling the order in which the ideas are presented would be a simple way to improve it. For example: "Just stop talking to her and your problems are solved."
or "Don't talk to her and you'll be much better off."
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Mar, 2017 02:39 pm
@layman,
Well, the best way to say something depends on context, doncha think Manny? There are times when using multiple ing verbs or gerunds may be a good way to express something in reference to another something said before or after. I was more interested in whether it was something said by native English speakers, so not particularly awkward, and whether it was correct. It seems to be both.

Person 1: well then how could i solve the problem? What do I need to stop?

Person 2: you could easily solve the problem by stopping (your) talking to her.

I feel like the sentence is justified in its usage when contextualized this way, where person 2 processes person 1's questions and uses the same verbs as people often do when deliberately answering questions directed at them.

Also, to my ears, without your sounds better.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 13 Mar, 2017 11:19 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

I was more interested in whether it was something said by native English speakers, so not particularly awkward, and whether it was correct. It seems to be both.


Well, I think you might have misinterpreted some of the feedback provided, eh? Centrox, for example, cited this authority:

Quote:
According to the The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, certain verbs are subject to 'double-ing constraint', that is, they should not be used in this way. The clearest cases are aspectual verbs such as begin, cease, continue, start, stop...


Formal grammar aside, I think most native speakers would agree that it sounds awkward, at best.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 13 Mar, 2017 01:28 pm
@perennialloner,
I have no clue what an "aspectual verb" even is, but I know something aint right about the phrase "stopping talking."

Person 2: you could easily solve the problem by stopping (your) talking to her.

A native speaker would say something like: Person 2: you could easily solve the problem if you (would) stop talking to her.

"Stop," not "stopping."
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Mar, 2017 01:51 pm
@layman,
There was no misinterpretation. Did you miss what Centrox said about regional differences, which you seem to completely disregard if the regional difference does not happen to be one you subscribe to. The Cambridge Grammar of the English language is one authority on the English language. Many exist, and agreement doesn't always exist among them largely because language is fluid.

Take a look at this thread I found if it interests you: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/would-you-mind-stopping-talking.1502769/

Quote:
would you mind stopping talking?

I would certainly use this phrase. I'm from the North of England so perhaps it's a northern thing. It doesn't sound strange to me. It sounds pretty direct - it's not as polite as 'would you please stop talking?'

Cheers
Al


I understand that such a construction to many native speakers seems awkward, especially when it stands alone. People, however, often say awkward things, or more awkwardly than they would've, when speaking aloud and cannot edit their word choice. So while most native speakers may agree it sounds awkward, I'd bet that many have said these exact words together like this at some time in their lives, probably many times, without thinking too deeply about how awkward they were.

I don't know if you've noticed, but native speakers of English rarely use the word "also" at the end of their sentences, preferring it at the beginning. That does not mean there's never a time to put "also" at the end of a sentence; that it's always a bad decision to do so.

I'm happy to know that the option exists to word a sentence in the way I've shown, even if it was not "right" this time. Awareness of these things helps increase the fluency of a speaker of any language.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Mar, 2017 02:15 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
I don't know if you've noticed, but native speakers of English rarely use the word "also" at the end of their sentences

Are you sure? I'm a native speaker of British English, and I place 'also' at the end of sentences very frequently, and I hear and see plenty of others doing it.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Mar, 2017 03:46 pm
@centrox,
Yes, I'm sure. It was a generalization, but I'm sure of what I've observed. I live in the states. Non-native speakers, when beginning learning, tend to use it at the end more, and very rarely use in the middle because it can be confusing. It was made a point by one of my language teachers. It is possible I misinterpreted what he said. It was a few years ago and I was young.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2017 03:45 am
@perennialloner,
I am sure there are regional variations.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 08:19 pm
...sTopping the talking ....
0 Replies
 
 

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