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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 9 years ago

I have a language questions?

I was wondering why is there "-ING" added to "Defy" in "Defying gravity" song:

"It’s time to try defying gravity"

"I think I’ll try defying gravity"

For me, it would be "It's time to try DEFY gravity", no? What is the reason?

Is someone here have a reliable website where there are all English/American languages rules...a document from university. I'm french, i can understand quite easily oral talk but and i'd want to make corrects sentences and know where i have to put words in them.

thanks for your help

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is because French and English don;t use the present participle in the same way. We use -ing forms a lot, but you would have to say "défier (les lois de ) la pesanteur" - using the infinitif. The English equivalent of that is "TO defy" - in English you can't have the infinitive alone without 'to', in that construction. So it would be " it's time to try TO defy..."

    It's time TO learn more grammar - it's time to try learnING more grammar

    but on doit apprendre la grammaire. .

    I don't know any grammar websites, I prefer grammar books - plenty on amazon!

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  • Jimmy
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    You will probably never find such a website. Many of the rules of English usage are not followed universally. There is no body corresponding to the Academie Francaise to codify the language.

    There is a difference in meaning in the two examples you cite, althoug it's a very small one. It's time to try defying gravity is a little weaker than "It's time to try to defy gravity." (Note that the infinitive is two words, "to defy" ) There are a few other errors in your English (although less than if I tried to write in French.) I, the personal pronoun is capitalized in English. adjectives like "correct" do not change when modifying plural nouns.

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  • 9 years ago

    Basically, you add "-ing" to a word to make it the action in the present tense. You would need to say either "It's time to try to defy gravity" or "It's time to try defying gravity."

    The "-ing" makes it the action of defying and without it, you would say "to defy" which is the infinitive form of the verb.

    There is more about the "-ing/-ed" rule of grammar on this link:


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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Defying is present-tense action, and just "defy" would not work in that sentence, however "to defy" would work. :) so it could be "its time to try to defy gravity"

    Source(s): Been speaking english all my life :)
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