Thursday, April 15, 2021

Clarifying a distinction between gerund constructions and relative clauses

For several years now, I have been trying to figure out why some gerund constructions that my students use sound off to me. Last week in the 111 Words class, we considered several examples and identified one source of the problem. In one of the examples, a student wrote about a song: "The guitar slowly fades out, hinting at all the stories never told." Here, the guitar hints at the stories, but in an alternative (which the student said she'd meant), "which" refers to the whole main clause: "The guitar slowly fades out, which hints [...]." Both formulations are correct, but it's good to have finally clarified the difference in implication. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 15 April 2021)



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