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Verbs + Other Verbs (#6), by Dennis Oliver

Verbs + Other Verbs (#6):
Verb + Object + -ing Verb
OR
Verb + Object + Verb

 

We've already seen that verbs can be connected in the
patterns Verb + to + Verb ("want to leave"), Verb +
Object + to + Verb ("want him to leave"), Verb + Object
+ Verb ("make him leave"), and Verb + -ing Verb ("regret
leaving") patterns. In addition, a small number of verbs
(the verbs of perception) can be used in the pattern
Verb + -ing Verb OR Verb + Object + Verb.

Verbs of Perception

feel
hear
listen to
  look at
notice
observe
  see
smell
watch


Examples:

I felt the room moving. /
I felt the room
move.

We heard her playing her violin. /
We heard her
play her violin.

She noticed him leaving. /
She noticed him
leave.

He smelled his dinner burning. /
He smelled his dinner
burn.

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Special Note:


1.  

In the Verb + Object + gerund pattern, the gerund
generally shows the same meaning that is shown by
while + a clause with an -ing verb:

I felt the room moving. = I felt the room while it
was moving.

He smelled his dinner burning. = He smelled
his dinner while it was burning.

     
2.  

Although there is often no difference in meaning
between Verb + Object + Gerund and Verb +
Object + Verb, this is not always true. When there
is a difference in meaning, the gerund suggests
that its action was in progress from beginning to
end, while this is not suggested by the base form:

She noticed him leaving. (She noticed him from
the time that he began to leave until he had gone.)

She noticed him leave. (She noticed him at the
time that he left.)

We watched the L.A. Lakers playing the
championship game. (We watched all of the
championship game that the L.A. Lakers played.)

We watched the L.A. Lakers play the
championship game. (We watched some of the
championship game that the L.A. Lakers played.)


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