Re: ``Ken and I being on the radio together''

"Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote...
On Jan 29, 6:58 am, Adam Funk <a24...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2008-01-28, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

I clarified earlier that I meant both situations (ESL and high school
English). [...]

>> Nathan Sanders:
>>> Native English speakers won't make an error, because they have >>> already
>>> internalized the difference. It doesn't need to be taught to them,
>>> because they don't need conscious awareness of it to use -ing
>>> "properly" (unless there's some difference between standard and >>> spoken
>>> English that you're thinking of that I'm unaware of).

>> He probably wants them to throw a "his ...-ing" into their writing
>> every so often to show off.

If you have explained nouns and adjectives, you will need to explain
that there are VERB+ing nouns and VERB+ing adjectives, so they can
parse both "Smoking is bad for your health." and "There's the smoking

Why do they need to "parse" them?

Do you suppose that the meaning and use of one is opaque to (a) an

Probably not, though if you think there's any point in teaching any "grammar" at all in school (personally, I express no opinion on the matter), then it makes sense to point out this particular idiosyncracy, which the student has almost certainly not been conscious of previously.

> or (b) an ESL-learner who knows the other?

Almost certainly it _would_ be opaque to an ESL learner who has learned the other function of "-ing", especially if his other language had no similar constructions (i.e., no "verbal adjectives" or "verbal nouns"), as is the case for a fair number of the world's languages.