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Predicative constructions with the gerund.




Like all the verbals the gerund can form predicative constructions, i. e. constructions in which the verbal element expressed by the gerund is in predicate relation to the nominal element expressed by a noun or pronoun (see § 2).

I don't like your going off without any money. (Maltz) — Мне не нравится, что вы уходите без денег.Here the gerund going off is in predicate relation to the pronoun your, which denotes the doer of the action expressed by the gerund.

The nominal element of the construction can be expressed in dif­ferent ways.

1. If it denotes a living being it may be expressed:

(a) by a noun in the genitive case or by a possessive pronoun.

His further consideration of the point was prevented by Richard's coming back to us in an excited state. (Dickens) — Его дальней­шие размышления были прерваны тем, что вернулся РичарА в чрезвычайно возбужденном состоянии. Do you mind ту smoking? (Hardy) — Вы ничего не имеете против того, чтобы я курил?

(b) by a noun in the common case.

I have a distinct recollection of Lady Chiltern always getting the good conduct prize! (Wilde) — Я отлично помню, что леди Чиль- терн всегда получала награды за примерное поведение.

Note. Thus in Modern English there are two parallel constructions

of the type: Fancy David's courting Emily! and Fancy David courting Emily/These two constructions may be used indifferently, but sometimes there is a slight difference in meaning: in the first example the action (the verbal element of the construction) is emphasized, whereas in the second the doer of the action (the nominal element of the construction) is emphasized.

Occasionally examples are found where the nominal element of the construction is expressed by a pronoun in the objective case.

I hope you will forgive me disturbing you. (Du Maurier) — Наде­юсь, вы простите меня за то, что я вас побеспокоил.

There are cases when the nominal element of the construction, though denoting a living being, cannot be expressed by a noun in the possessive case, but only by a noun in the common case, namely when it consists of two or more nouns or when it is a noun modified by an attribute in post-position.

I object to Mary and Jane going out on such a windy day. He felt no uneasiness now in the thought of the brother and sister being alone together. (Eliot) — Его теперь не смущала мысль o том, что брат и сестра остались вдвоем.

Did you ever hear of a man of sense rejecting such an of­fer? — Слышали ли вы когда-нибудь, чтобы разумный человек отказался от такого предложения?

2. If the nominal element of the construction denotes a lifeless thing, it is expressed by a noun in the common case (such nouns, as a rule, are not used in the genitive case) or by a possessive pronoun.



I said something about my clock being slow. (Du Maurier) - Я сказала, что мои часы отстают.

... Peggotty spoke of... my room, and of its being ready for me. (Dickens) — ... Пеготти говорила., о моей комнате и о том, что она уже приготовлена для меня.

3. The nominal element of the construction can also be expressed by a pronoun which has no case distinctions, such as all, this, that, both each, something.

I insist on bof/i of them coming in time. — Я требую, чтобы они оба пришли вовремя.

Again Michael... was conscious of something deep and pri­vate stirring within himself. (Galsworthy) — Майкл опять по­чувствовал, что в его душе шевельнулось что-то глубокое и затаенное.

Note. Some grammarians recognize the existence of two separate con­structions: the gerundial construction (a construction whose nominal element is expressed by a noun in the genitive case or by a possessive pronoun) and a construction with a half gerund (a construction whose nominal element is expressed by a noun in the common case, a pronoun in the objective case, or a pronoun which has no case distinctions).

0ffy to mind (in negative and interrogative sentences), to postpone, to put off cannot help, and some others.

A gerundial construction is nearly always rendered in Russian by a subordinate clause, generally introduced by то, что; тем, что; как, etc.

His being a foreigner, an ex-enemy was bad enough. (Alding­ton) — To, что он был, иностранец, бывший неприятель,

было уже плохо.

Her thoughts were interrupted at last, by the door opening gently. (Reade) — Ее мысли были, наконец, прерваны тем, что дверь тихонько открылась.

I began to picture to myself... my being found dead in a day or two, under some hedge. (Dickens) — Я начал представлять себе, как через день или два меня найдут мертвым под каким-нибудь забором.

 


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