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Why there is a gerund?

Dr. Finisto asked a few questions. The man answered them, the woman remaining silent.

Can I revise it as:

The man answered them, the woman remained silent.

Why it should be: remaining?


Dear All: Both remained and remaining can be an adjective. Why remaining has to be more appropriated or should be the answer?

Update 2:

I know what is a comma splice and I know what is a run-on sentence, so you don't have to mentioned that again. All I need to know is how do I distinguish / how to use its part of speech from a word appropriately.

Update 3:

mwl_r: I have to take the book. Have to is a modal form, therefore, there's only one verb in the sentence i.e."take". How come there're two verbs?

3 Answers

  • Jc
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In one single sentence, there is only one verb.

    The man answered them, the woman remaining silent.

    In this sentence, 'answered ' is the main verb. There cannot be another verb, so 'remained ' is changed to present participle ----> remaining

    the man answered them, the woman remained silent ----> is wrong, because two sentences cannot be joined by comma (comma splice)

    If you want to use two verbs, then you need a conjunction 'and'

    ----> The man answered them, and the woman remained silent.

  • mwl_r
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


    Remaining silent does not have the force of a noun and thus not a gerund.

    Swimming is my favourite hobby.----Swimming is a gerund.

    Tiger hunting had been a noble sport in India----Tiger hunting is a gerund.

    ' remaining silent' in this sentence is a participle which has the force of a verb and of an adjective, it is thus an adjective phrase to qualify the woman.

    As to whether you can grammatically correct to rearrange the sentence to

    ' The man answered them, the woman remained silent.', The answer is

    YES.but it needs to change the comma to a semicolon. Reasons therefor :

    1) ' The man answered them' is a simple sentence. It has its own subject

    and predicate :the same applies to ' the woman remained silent.'.

    They are in true two clauses. We can surely connect these two simple

    clauses by means of a Co-ordinating( or sometimes referred to as Co-

    ordinative) Conjunction in this context like:

    The man answered them, and the woman remained silent. or

    As the man answered them, the woman remained silent. or

    When the man answered them, the woman remained silent., so as to make

    the sentence sounds more natural and acceptable to foreigners.

    2) It is a simple grammar rule that ' Any of the Co-ordinating Conjunctions

    such as and, but, or, nor also, either.....or, neither..... nor, etc., with the

    exceptions of or, nor, may be omitted and its place taken by a comma,

    semicolon, or colon depending on the requirement of the sentence .' as 'John went out to play; Mary stayed in to work.' and so is your sentence,

    ' The man answered them; the woman remained silent.'.

    Before ending my answer, I would like to comment that one sentence

    doesn't necessarily take one verb even in a simple sentence where there

    is an auxiliary verb like " I have to take a book.",we have two verbs here, the main finite verb' to take' and the auxiliary verb' have', to say nothing that a compound sentence can have several verbs.

    Source(s): common English
  • HaHa
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


    問:《聖經.哥林多書》有 Love is patient, love is kind(愛是有耐心的,愛是親切的)一語。我認識的一位修女認為兩子句( clause)之間沒有連接詞( conjunction),不應用逗點,但《聖經》英文也有錯嗎?

    答:兩個子句之間,假如沒有連接詞,通常應用分號( semicolon),否則算是犯了 comma splice(逗點接合)的錯誤。不過,《聖經》那一句並沒有錯。短的子句假如用字、結構相似,可以只用逗點接連,不必加連接詞,例如: He is no longer the man I knew twenty years ago. Poverty has crushed his pride, disease has ruined his health(他不復是二十年前我認識的那個人了。貧窮已銷盡他的豪氣,疾病也已摧殘他的健康)。



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