“X had him thinking” or “X made him think”

I’m proofreading a novel and the author keeps overusing the word ‘had’ where he could use a more descriptive word and then adding ‘-ing’ to the verb. It’s not grammatically incorrect, but it’s a digression from his usual style which is otherwise pretty good and it sticks out whenever he does it. What I want … Read more

How to distinguish the gerund with the object and the -ing form in the meaning of the adjective

I read this in Wikipedia: “The program becomes modal, switching between interpreting commands from the keyboard or passing keystrokes on as data to be processed.” The word interpreting makes me confused. If it is an adjective, then it has an active form. But then there is a mismatch – the commands are interpreted. But it … Read more

The rule to have “ing” in the middle of a phrase

I am seeing this pattern in mostly formal sentences and curious what is the rule to write verb+ing after the first part of sentence. Is it replacement for “which”? “Make possible epidemiological studies and other research endeavors in terms of problems, having all the data on any given problem immediately available.” Answer It is a … Read more

Is is possible to say “Admit to something being something else”?

I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out whether the sentence below is grammatically correct or not. (is it okay to say admit to something being something else?) “The Prime Minister admits to the education system being in a bad condition” Thanks in advance. Answer Lawrence pointed out “Grammatically, the sentence looks fine … Read more

Cigarette Smoking or Smoking Cigarette

From the following sentence, Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Can we replace the bolded phrases with smoking cigarette? In what circumstances should we use these two? Answer In “cigarette smoking“, “cigarette” qualifies the verb (what are you smoking?) and thus … Read more

Gerund vs Present participle: “We’re depending on him finishing the job by Friday.”

I’m not a native English speaker, and although I know the general rules to identify whether it is a gerund or participle, sometimes I’m still confused about how to distinguish the gerund and present participle, particularly in the example as below. This is a sentence which I saw in the usage of phrase "depend on" … Read more

Is “University Challenge” right that this is a gerund?

The full context is below, but the basic question is: is the word spending in the following example really a gerund, as claimed by the University Challenge question-setters? My “best guess” would be that it is an example of a present participle or the progressive aspect. Q: Give the single word gerund that completes the … Read more

Equal to + gerund

I am writing notes for my student in lab courses. In the last section, I am trying to interpret the results obtained in a previous one. I am trying therefore, to give an example by saying the following phrase : In a way, this is equal to saying that… I was wondering if equal to … Read more

which one I should use Noun or Gerund? Are both sentences correct?

Run is good for your heart or Running is good for your heart I cannot understand what the differences between these two sentences are. Answer Beginning a sentence with a verb in the present tense is commonly used as an instruction or command, such as: Run to the store and buy some milk!. Telling someone … Read more