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Russian Federation

Hello, Amy. Recently I have come across such a sentence:

“Well, look. Having your dinner at home. It’s a lot more exciting to be eating out (OR to be walking downtown).

I am confused about the verb forms used in this sentence. First form is “having”, it doesn’t look like a participle I, it seems to me like a conversational contracted form of (you are having). Could you clarify what grammatical category “having” relates to? Gerund? Participle? Or what?

Secondly, about the form “to be eating out” or “to be walking downtown”. What type of grammatical strucutre is that? I know the structure with it seems: “He seems to be eating”, but using it in this context is very confusing. Could you clarify that, too, please?

Could you also show which grammatical category they relate to and also show some examples? Thanks a lot

12:32 PM Aug 28 2012 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi!  i think you’re right about “having” in this sentence. It is not a gerund but a conversational contracted form of “you are having.”

The second phrase also seems conversational to me. I think that if this were written English it would read, “It’s a lot more exciting to eat out.” Then “to eat out” would be an infinitive. But the speaker uses a progressive infinitive to give the phrase a more active sense.

I can’t say that I see either of these forms very often. The first is sometimes used in conversational English as more of a question or observation about something someone is doing. For example:

Speaker A: “Doing your homework?”

Speaker B: “Yes. It’s for French class.”


08:36 PM Aug 29 2012 |



Russian Federation

Thanks, Amy. That’s very helpful!

05:38 AM Aug 30 2012 |