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A Morpho-Syntucticul Approuch









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Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei

MIU, ALINA
The English nonfinite verbal forms : a morpho-
syntactical approach / Alina Miu, P. Clonea. - Pitesti :
Editura Universitii din Pitesti, 2009
Bibliogr.
Index
ISBN 978-973-690-868-2

I. Clonea, Procopie

811.111'367.625.5











1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

7
THE INFINITIVE

The English inIinitive represents a nonIinite Iorm oI a
verb which names the action or the state expressed by the verb
without reIerence to the grammatical categories oI person,
number and mood: e. g. to be, to know, to be aone, to have saia,
to be helping, to have been writing.
Traditional grammarians such as A. Bdescu (1984:319),
L. Levichi (1997:92), W. Collins (1992:314) and M. Zdrenghea
(1999:403) consider the English inIinitive as a basic Iorm oI the
verb, much in the same sense in which the Nominative case is the
basic Iorm oI a noun or the positive degree is the basic Iorm oI
an adjective.
On the other hand, a structuralist point oI view on this
matter is given by G. Leech (1991:205) who claims that the basic
Iorm oI an English verb is not always an inIinitive, but it may be
represented by a present tense, indicative mood, an imperative
or a subjunctive, while the inIinitive itselI denominates either a
word, a phrase or a clause depending on the grammatical
structure in which it occurs. In other words, a basic Iorm oI a
verb (i.e. a verba Iorm without any endings) is an inIinitive only
when it acts as a nonIinite verb, especially when it Iollows 'to.
Mention should be made that certain English verbs have
no inIinitive Iorm, such as modal deIective verbs (e.g. shall, will,
can, may, must, ought (to), etc) with the observation that Irom a








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 8
strictly grammatical point a view, the translation oI such English
verbal Iorms by Romanian inIinitives (a trebui, a voi, a putea,
etc) is not correct (L. Levichi 1962:239) and is only accepted as
a lexicographical convention.
In point oI Iorm the English inIinitive occurs either with
or without the proclitic inIinitival particle written 'to. The
inIinitive with 'to has several denominations according
to diIIerent grammarians, such as 'long inIinitive (L. Levichi
1997:92; I. Preda 2003:152; C. Paidos 2001:136), 'plain
inIinitive (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner 1994:4), 'Iull inIinitive
(Thomson Martinet 1986:238), 'inIinitive with to (K.
Schibsbye 1973:24; M. Zdrenghea 1994:403) are 'to-inIinitive
(G. Leech 1991:206; R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum 1973:27; W.
Collins 1992:315; Eastwood 1994:145).
Similarly, the inIinitive without 'to is denominated by
diIIerent grammarians diIIerent terms, such as 'short inIinitive
(L. Levichi 1997:92; C. Paidos 2001:136; I. Pre. 2003:152),
'bare inIinitive (W. Collins 1992:315; J. Eastwood 1994:145;
G. Leech 1991:20 R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum 1973:27) and
'inIinitive without to (T. Cobb & R.Gardiner 1994:4; |
Schibsbye 1973:24; M. Zdrenghea 1999:403).
A singular point oI view belongs to A. Bdescu
(1984:319) who preIers to speak about a 'complete and
'incomplete inIinitive instead oI the traditional denominations







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

9
long and 'short inIinitives employed by most grammarians,
due to the Iact that these Latin terms may lead to conIusions.

Verbal Characteristics of the Infinitive
The short indeIinite inIinitive acts as the basic Iorm oI
the English verb helping the verbal conjugation. Thus, it is used
as Iollows:
A. in moods and tenses which are Iormed with the help oI
an inIinitive Iorm such as:
present tense, indicative mood (*except the third person
singular): I call, you call, *he calls
imperative mood: Call'
present subjunctive mood: I call, he call
B. preceded by an auxiliary in the structure oI the Iollowing
verbal Iorms:
Iuture tense, indicative mood: I shall call, you, he will
call
Iuture perIect, indicative mood: I shall have callea, you,
he will have callea
Iuture-in-the-past, indicative mood and past conditional:
I shoula call, you, he woula call
Iuture perIect in the past, indicative mood and
conditional perIect mood: I shoula have callea, you, he
woula have callea.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 10
The English inIinitive does not indicate time, but its
temporal reIerence is rendered either by the element governing it
or by the context. Thus, the so-called 'tenses oI the inIinitive,
i.e. indeIinite/present inIinitive and perIect inIinitive are not to
be interpreted literally as 'present and 'perIect time
indicators.
The indeIinite/present inIinitive usually expresses the
same tense as the main verb preceding it and less Irequently a
Iuture action as seen Irom the point oI view oI the action oI its
preceding verb (A. Bdescu 1984:319). Thus, an indeIinite
inIinitive may reIer to the same time expressed by the Iinite verb
in the main clause, which may be:
a) the present:
Im pleasea to meet you. (J. Eastwood 1994:145)
I want to go on a trip. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
It aoes him gooa to take long walks. (K. Schibsbye 1973:23)
b) the past:
You were lucky to win. (J. Eastwood 1994:145)
How very foolish of you to ao it' (K. Schibsbye 1973:23)
They maae her laugh. (A. Bdescu 1984:319)
c) the Iuture:
Ill tell her to reaa that book. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
I shall be able to see clearly. (A. Bdescu 1984:319)
I wish we haa an invitation to aine out. (M. Zdrenghea 1999:404)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

11
An indeIinite inIinitive can also indicate a Iuture action
Irom the point oI view oI the main verb which precedes it:
I promisea to return the book at once. (A. Bdescu 1984:319)
I shall hope to see you tomorrow. (K. Schibsbye 1973:23)
By contrast with the indeIinite inIinitive, the perIect
inIinitive indicates either that the action expressed by it precedes
another action or it indicates a hypothetical state or action.
A. when the perIect inIinitive shows an action happening
beIore the grammatical time in the main clause, it may
reIer to an action which precedes:
a. a past action:
He provea to have tola the truth. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
I refoice to have finishea it so soon. (K. Schibsbye 1973:23)
Ia like to have seen the programme yesteraay.
(J. Eastwood 1994:145)
b. a Iuture action:
You will want to have finishea your lessons before going to bea.
(A. Bdescu 1984:320)
By the ena of next month I hope to have bought a new car.
(C. Paidos 2001:135)
By the beginning of next week I hope to have seen her.
(K. Schibsbye 1973:23)
c. A. Bdescu (1984:320) is the only one to mention an
instance in which a
perIect inIinitive reIers to an action that has preceded a








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 12
present action or
moment, such as in:
He hopes to have aone well in his work.
B. when the perIect inIinitive has a hypothetical meaning,
one may encounter
examples such as:
I expect him to have unaerstooa us. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
I thought it wrong to have helpea her. (M. Zdrenghea 1999:404)
In addition to the above mentioned verbal characteristics
oI tense, the English inIinitive also discloses voice distinctions
such as in the Iollowing examples:
A .the indeIinite inIinitive may appear both in the active voice
and in the passive voice:
I want to see his house. (C. Paidos 2001:135) as well as in
She aiant want to be seen there. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
B. the perIect inIinitive can occur in the active voice and in the
passive voice:
She left too early to have met them. (A. Bdescu 1984:320) as
well as in
This palace is saia to have been built in three years.
(M. Zdrenghea 1999:404)
The inIinitive is one oI the English nonIinite verbal
Iorms which have also distinctions oI aspect (A. Bdescu
1984:258). Thus, the indeIinite inIinitive may take either







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

13
common / simple aspect Iorm, or may occur in the progressive /
continuous aspect:
I want to speak to her.
I imaginea her to be speaking English. (C. Paidos 2001:135).
Similarly, the perIect inIinitive can take either simple or
continuous aspect Iorm in diIIerent contexts:
He pretenaea to have reaa the book.
He pretenaea to have been stuaying. (Thomson & Martinet
1986:227)
From a syntactical point oI view, the English inIinitive
discharges Iurther characteristics by its possibility to combine
with sentence members similarly to Iinite verb Thus, an
inIinitive may take:
a. a subject:
He is not the man to ao it. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner 1994:9)
b. a direct object:
'I haa expectea that he woula at least show surprise to see a car
aangerously close to him '. (A. Maltz Man oI a Road).
c. an indirect object:
She haa to give me all her money. (C. Paidos 2001:135)
d. a prepositional object:
'I hope you wont forget your promise to talk of this another
time.` (A. J. Cronin The Citadel)
e. an adverbial modiIier:
He wants to leave immeaiately. (B. D. Graver 1997:136)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 14
He usea to walk in the morning. (L. Levichi 1997:93).

Nominal Characteristics of the Infinitive
The English inIinitive is a nonIinite verbal Iorm which
possesses both verbal and nominal characteristics, which is why
some grammarians (M. Zdrenghea, A. Greere 1999:403; K.
Schibsbye 1973:24) consider that the inIinitive with 'to
corresponds to the nominal side and the inIinitive without 'to
discloses best the verbal Ieatures oI the inIinitive.
When dealing with the noun characteristics oI the
inIinitive one actually takes into account the cases oI usage oI
the long inIinitive having some syntactical Iunctions speciIic to
the noun such as:
a. subject:
To know is to be powerful. (L. Levichi 1997:93)
To have a sense of humour is a great quality. (A. Bdescu
1984:321)
To be obeyea was natural to her. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:14)
b. predicative:
To see her is to like her. (G. Gleanu 1998:43)
His principal past time is to arive into the country. (T. Cobb &
R. Gardiner 1994:14)
Her only wish was to win the first pri:e. (C Paidos 2001:136)
c. attribute:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

15
This is a book to reaa on holiaay. (C. Paidos 2001:136) I tola
her about my aecision to leave. (M. Swan 1997:271)
d. direct object:
She likea to learn, but hatea to teach. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:14 She wants to tell us something. (C. Paidos 2001:136)

Uses of the Infinitive without 'to`
The inIinitive without 'to, which corresponds to the verbal side
oI this nonIinite verbal Iorm, is used as Iollows:
1. aIter auxiliary verbs:
I shall be.
They aont mina
Diant he see? (L. Levichi 1997:3)
I ao think this is wonaerful progress. (A. Bdescu 1984:322)
2. aIter modal deIective verbs, except Ior to be (to), to have
(to),and ought (to):
She can speak English.
You must go there. (C. Paidos 2001:136).
May I ask?
He cannot sing. (L. Levichi 1997:93)
They aeciae they shoula swap experiences.
He woulant aare say so to my face. (A. Bdescu 1984:322)
Tell him he may go home.
She shoula have been more careful. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:4)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 16
3. aIter the verbs to have and to make with causative meaning:
This news maae her cry for foy.
Ill have him answer for his carelessness. (A. Bdescu 1984:322)
They maae me write all the aetails aown again. (W. Collins
1992:315)
He maae me move my car. (Thomson & Martinet 1986:220)
4. aIter verbs oI perception:
She saw him come home.
I felt him start when his name was utterea. (A. Bdescu
1984:322)
I heara him lock the aoor. (Thomson & Martinet 1986:220)
She watchea the postman cross the street. (T. Cobb & R.
Gardiner 1994:6)
5. aIter the verbs to bid, to let and to help:
She baae him learn his lesson.
The chilaren woulant let me go out. (A. Bdescu 1984:323)
Dont let him go by himself. (W. Collins 992:315)
6. aIter the modal combinations had (would) rather; had better;
would sooner
better than; rather than; sooner than; can (not) but, etc.:
You haa better start now.
He cannot but aamire your aecision. (L. Levichi 1997:93)
She woula rather stay in tonight.
I haa better go now, it is getting late.
He woula sooner speak than ao nothing. (A. Bdescu 1984:323)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

17
They woula sooner spena their holiaay in a camp.
Maggie coulant but consent to her brothers plan. (C. Paidos
2001:136)
Ia sooner stay where I am.
Haa not we better stop now?
Ia rather go on if you aont mina. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:5)
7. in a number oI more or less stock phrases such as go hang,
make believe, make do, hear say, hear tell, let drop / Iall / Ily /
go / pass / slip (C. Paidos 2001:136):
He maae believe that he was rich.
She haa to make ao with a aay-girl. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:6)
My uncle was saia to have let arop this remark.
You mustnt let slip such an opportunity. (K. Schibsbye 1973:25)
To conclude, one may say that, as a rule, the inIinitive
without 'to is used aIter verbs either totally or partly devoid oI
semantic value, namely aIter auxiliary and modal deIective
verbs as opposed to the inIinitive with 'to which is generally
used aIter verbs enjoying Iull semantic value.
Some Unusual Uses of the Infinitive with 'to`
A. Schmidt (in L. Levichi (1962:244) remarks in his
lexicon that the inIinitive with 'to is to be Iound in
Shakespeare`s work in the most surprising combinations and
with the most striking meanings:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 18
1. the inIinitive equivalent to a gerund preceded by in or
by:
'...what aost thou mean to stifle beauty ana to steal his breath '
(Venus and Adonis, 934)
'...mine own true love that aoth my rest aefeat, to play the
watchman ever
for thy sake ' (Sonnet LXI, 12)
'I have broke your hest to say so` (The Tempest, III, 1, 37)
'I wept myself to think upon the woras '
(Two Gentlemen oI Verona, IV, 4,180)
2. the inIinitive equivalent to a conditional clause:
'...to aie, I leave my love alone` (Sonnet LXVI, 14)
'I fly not aeath, to fly this aeaaly aoom. '
(Two Gentlemen oI Verona, III, 1,185)
3. the inIinitive equivalent to an adverbial clause oI cause:
'...why blame me to love you?` (As You Like It, V, 2, 10)
' ...he is grown too proua to be so valiant` (Coriolanus, 1, 1, 263)
'... his tongue, all impatient to speak ana not see... ' (Love's
Labour's Lost II, 238)
4. the inIinitive employed as an attribute:
' ...a very virtuous maia, ana to be shortly of a sisterhooa`
(Measure Ior Measure, II, 2, 21)
'...not an eye that sees you but is a physician to comment on
your malaay` (Two Gentlemen oI Verona, II, 1, 42)
'...but that which seems the wouna to kill`







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

19
(Troilus and Cressida. III, 1, 132)
5. the inIinitive used instead oI the passive:
'...savage, extreme, ruae, cruel, not to trust` (Sonnet CXXIX,4)
'...too hara to keep` (Love's Labour's Lost, I, I, 47).
6. great diIIerences Irom contemporary usage in inserting or
omitting the particle 'to:
' ...they woula not have you to stir forth '(Julius Caesar, II, 2,
380
'I aurst to wager she is honest` (Othello, IV, 2, 12)
' ...thou shalt fina those chilaren to take a new acquaintance of
thy mina`
(Sonnet LXXVII, 12)
'...how long within this wooa intena you stay?`
(A Midsummer Night's Dream, II, 1, 138)
'...to pray Achilles see us at our tent` (Troilus and Cressida, V,
9, 8).

SPECIAL INFINITIVAL CONSTRUCTIONS

A cursory study oI several grammars reveals that they
disagree not only in as Iar as their classiIication is concerned but
also in as Iar as their number is concerned. Thus, while
traditional grammar books (G. Gleanu-Frnoag 1998:43-44;
I. Preda 2003:156-159) consider that there are three inIinitival
constructions as Iollows: the Accusative with the InIinitive, the








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 20
Nominative with the InIinitive and the For-to InIinitival
construction, L. Levichi (1997:94) speaks about a Iourth
inIinitival construction, that is the Absolute InIinitive.
It is worthwhile mentioning that A. Bdescu (1984:94)
considers the For-to-InIinitive construction just a prepositional
Accusative with the InIinitive construction, thus reducing the
number oI the traditional three constructions to two, with the
observation that in practical grammar books (G. Gleanu
1995:229; C. Paidos 2001:136; L. Vianu 2002:222-223) we Iind
only two basic inIinitival constructions i.e. the Accusative with
the InIinitive and the Nominative with the InIinitive.
Other authors deal with these constructions in terms oI
various types oI complementation in connection with certain
categories oI verbs. Thus, the traditional For-To-InIinitive
construction is reIerred to as 'another type oI inIinitive
complement where the verb is constructed with for (R. Quirk,
G. Leech, J. Svartvik, S. Greenbaum 1972:840).
1. The Accusative with the Infinitive.
There are grammar books which register this
construction under the title oI special inIinitival construction (L.
Levichi 1997:94-95; C. Paidos 2001:136-137; A. Bdescu
1984:325-327; G. Gleanu-Frnoag 1998:195-196), while
other grammar books deal with it in terms oI the
'verbobiectinIinitive pattern (G. Leech 1991:206-207; R.
Quirk, S. Greenbaum 1973:195-196).







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

21
Morphologically, the construction is made up oI a noun
or a pronoun in the Accusative which stays in implicit predicative
relationship with an inIinitive Iorm and Iollows a transitive verb.
From a syntactical point oI view, the Accusative with the
InIinitive is a complex (direct) object.
It is used to make the communication more eIIicient as it
appears instead oI a direct object subordinate clause which
would begin with the conjunction that Iollowed by a subjunctive
and having a subject diIIerent Irom that oI the main clause.
This type oI construction is used:
1. aIter verbs expressing perception:
I saw her shut the winaow.
We heara them sins that song. (C. Paidos 2001:137)
Dia you see them leave?
Ia like to hear her play the violin. (L. Levichi 1997:94)
Dia anyone see Mary leave the house? (G. Gleanu 1998:195)
They felt her chuckle to herself.
The chila watchea the bira leave its nest. (A. Bdescu 1984:325)
I perceivea the figure to be a woman. (K. Schibsbye 1973:33)
His friena, perceiving him to be awake, came from the fire.
(S. Crane The Red Badge oI Courage)
2. aIter verbs expressing wish and intention:
I woula like you to slow aown before you reach the crossroaas.
I intena John to araw the sketch. (L. Levichi 1997:95)
I want them to unaerstana that. (C. Paidos 2001:137)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 22
She wantea metoexplain the rule.
Dia she mean me to so there in her place? (G. Gleanu
1998:195)
Celia haa wantea him to stay.(P. Abrahams The Path oI Thunder)
Still, I aiant want thepeople there to guess my ignorance. (J. K.
Jerome Three Men in a Boat)
3. aIter verbs expressing mental activities:
I knew him to be a gooa piano player.
We unaerstooa him to be unwilling to go. (L. Levichi 1997:95)
She imaginea him to be right.
I know her to live in a big house. (C. Paidos 2001:1370
They knew the man to be very ill.
A lot of people supposea her to be right. (G. Gleanu
1998:195)
I believe it to have been a mistake.
Most people supposea him to be aeaa. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner
1994:17)
4. aIter verbs oI declaring:
The aoctor haa pronouncea him to be out of aanger.
The expeaition reportea the weather to keep fine, (L. Levichi
1997:95)
I aeclare this to be my firm intention. (T. Cobb & R.Gardiner
1994:17)
Everyone reportea him to be gooa for this fob.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

23
They aeclarea the chief-engineer to be a member of their
committee. (G. Gleanu 1998:196)
5. aIter verbs and phrases expressing Ieelings and emotions:
Woula you like me to wait till she comes?
I hate you to talk like that. (T. Cobb & R. Gardiner 1994:16)
I shoula like them to keep their promise.
I hate you to be troublea. (G. Gleanu 1998:195)
The chilaren likea her to reaa for them.
I hate you to go there. (L. Levichi 1962:255)
6. aIter verbs expressing order, command, permission and
demand:
Our form teacher allowea us to go to the conference.
The officer oraerea his solaiers to aavance. (G. Gleanu
1998:196)
She permittea us to sit aown.
I oraerea him to open his bag. (C. Paidos 2001:137)
,I wont have you speak like it, aear Tess'` (Th. Hardy Tess oI
the d'Urbervilles
7. aIter verbs with obligatory preposition:
I waitea for him to come.
1 count on you not to be late. (L. Levichi 1962:256)
We cannot wait for the weather to change. (G. Gleanu
1998:196)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 24
2. The Nominative with the Infinitive.
From a morphological point oI view, the Nominative
with the InIinitive represents a combination oI a noun or a
pronoun in the Nominative and a long inIinitive Iorm related by
an implicit predicativity. Syntactically, the Nominative with the
inIinitive is a complex subject.
This construction is used:
1. with certain verbs in the passive voice:
x xx x verbs expressing perception (to hear, to see, to Ieel, to watch,
to notice perceive);
x xx x verbs expressing mental activities (to consider, to think, to
imagine believe, to expect);
x xx x the verbs to say and to report.
The ola man was reportea to have aisappearea. (G. Gleanu
1998
Jack is saia to be a gooa ariver.
They were heara to rehearse several times. (L. Levichi
1997:96)
Jane was known to be a great pianist.
You are supposea to help her. (C. Paidos 2001:137).
2. with the verbs to seem, to appear, to happen, to chance, to
prove, to turn out. etc.:
I happen to know him.
She appears to have graauatea ten years ago. (L. Levichi
1997:96}







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

25
He seemea to be pleasea with the arrangement.
Her brother happenea to be there. (G. Gleanu 1998:198)
I happenea to be present there.
She seems to know the answer. (C. Paidos 2001:138).
3. with such constructions as to be (un) lucky/(un) fortunate,
(not) to be sure/certain, to be (un) likely:
I was lucky to fina a taxi.
She is likely to arrive tonight. (C. Paidos 2001:38)
He is sure to think of every possible aavantage.
The train is likely to be late. (G. Gleanu 1998:198)
He is sure to come off victorious.
They are unlikely to succeea. (L. Levichi 1997:96).

3. The For-1o Infinitive Construction.
A special case oI an Accusative with the InIinitive
construction is the so-called 'For-To-inIinitive construction
which contains an inIinitive in a predicate relationship to a noun
or pronoun preceded by the preposition for. Syntactically, it may
act as:
a. subject:
For us to fail now woula be aisaster. (M. Swan 19.97:266)
It is customary for there to be an excursion every Sunaay. (A.
Bdescu 1984:327)
b. predicative:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 26
The best thing is for him to agree with me. (G. Gleanu
1998:197)
The most important thing is for us to reach the place of
aestination before, aaybreak. (B. Laszlo 1997:189)
c. attribute:
Here is a new hat for you to wear with your green aress. (I.
Preda 2003:159)
There is a patch of grass for you to lie on. (A. Bdescu
1984:327)
d. direct object:
Ill arrange for my sister to take you to the concert. (A. Bdescu
1984:327)
He wishea for the parcel to be sent at once. (G. Gleanu
1998:197)
e. prepositional object:
I was waiting for the show to begin. (I. Preda 2003:159)
I woula be aelightea for you to meet her. (G. Gleanu
1998:197)
f. adverbial modiIier oI purpose:
Ive brought more maga:ines for you to reaa on the train. (G.
Gleanu 1998:1)
They shoutea for us to stop. (I. Preda 2003:159)
g. adverbial modiIier oI result:
This book is too aifficult for me to reaa. (G. Gleanu
1998:197)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

27
h. adverbial modiIier oI cause:
His innovation must have been very important for the wall-
ga:ette to praise highly. (A. Bdescu 1984:327)

4. The Absolute Infinitive Construction.
It is made up oI a noun in the Nominative case and an
inIinitive, the noun representing a subject diIIerent Irom that oI
the sentence:
The plant exceeaea its quota, the surplus to be aeliverea in
December. (L. Levichi 1962:258)
They sent him a telegram, the aetails to be explainea in a letter.
(L. Levichi 1997:96)
The above uses oI the English inIinitive allow Ior a
general observation that the inIinitive is Iar more Irequently
used in the actual usage oI the language than one may expect.
This situation is due to the various possibilities oI combination
which this nonIinite verbal Iorm discloses and also appears as a
consequence oI the uses oI the inIinitive in numerous speciIic
constructions.

THE SPLIT INFINITIVE

The issue put Iorward by the admissibility or non-
admissibility oI the split inIinitive is one oI usage, not oI
principle, and one thing that is clear is that in speech the split








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 28
inIinitive is common even among speakers who on principle
reject it with horror.
As a rule a split infinitive occurs in English when an
adverb or adverbial phrase is inserted between the inIinitival
particle to and a verb in its inIinitive Iorm. One very Iamous
example is Irom the science Iiction series Star Trek: 'To bolaly
go where no one has gone before. Here the inIinitive verb Iorm
oI go is to go, and the adverb bolaly has been inserted, creating a
split inIinitive.
Claims that split inIinitives are wrong are intermingled
with appropriate counterarguments by leading writers and
grammarians.
Fussing about split inIinitives is one oI the most tiresome
pastimes invented by 19
th
century prescriptive grammarians. The
question is, in any case, one oI usage, not oI principle, and one
thing that is clear is that in speech the split inIinitive is common
even among speakers who on principle reject it with horror.
1
In
Iormal writing, where grammatical conservativeness is the
norm, there is more oI a case Ior not splitting inIinitives than in
everyday writing and speech.
Claims that split infinitives are wrong
The admissibility oI split inIinitives has been
controversial since the 18
th
century. People have been splitting
inIinitives since the 14th century and some oI the most

1
Strang, B., Moaern English Structure, London, Edward Arnold LTD,
1962, p.52







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

29
noteworthy splitters include John Donne, Samuel Pepys, Daniel
DeIoe, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson, William
Wordsworth, Abraham Lincoln, George Eliot, Henry James, and
Willa Cather.
Split inIinitives became more common in the nineteenth
century, and, by the end oI the century, the prohibition was
Iirmly established in the press and popular belieI. E.g.
A gentleman who thinks he is gooa enough for Lucy must expect
to be sharply criticisea. (George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss)
I was surprisea at this talk, ana began to consiaer very seriously
what the meaning of it must be. (Moll Flanaers, Daniel DeIoe
18
th
)
Her imperial mafesty was pleasea to smile very graciously upon
me whether a man woula choose to be always in the prime of
youth. (Gulliver`s Travels, Jonathan SwiIt 18
th
)
Alreaay to be looking saaly ana vaguely back (Vanity Fair,
William Makepeace Thackeray - 19
th
)
Although the inIluential New Oxfora Dictionary of
English (1998) recently admitted that 'in standard English the
principle oI allowing split inIinitives is broadly accepted as both
normal and useIul, there are nevertheless plenty oI people who
consider it unacceptable.
There are also a number oI expressions in English that
are weakened considerably by avoiding the split inIinitive. The
phrase I plan to really enfoy the party is more natural and








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 30
rhythmic than alternatives such as I plan really to enfoy the
party and I plan to enfoy really the party. The Iinal possible
alternative I plan to enfoy the party, really actually possesses a
slightly diIIerent meaning.
2

Counterarguments
However, just as the prohibition against the split
inIinitive was becoming part oI popular culture, there was a
reaction against it among leading writers and grammarians. For
example, in the 1907 edition oI The King`s English, the Fowler
brothers wrote: 'The split` inIinitive has taken such hold upon
the consciences oI journalists that, instead oI warning the novice
against splitting his inIinitives, we must warn him against the
curious superstition that the splitting or not splitting makes the
diIIerence between a good and a bad writer.
3

Nowadays, it is exceedingly diIIicult to Iind any
authority who condemns the split inIinitive Sidney
Greenbaum, Knud Schibsbye, H. W. Fowler, Silvia Chalker,
GeoIIrey Leech, and others agree that there is no logical reason
not to split an inIinitive. Thus, contemporary grammars diIIer
considerably in their degree oI accepting the split inIinitive as
grammatically correct.

2
Arsene-Onu, Cristina, The English Aaverb, Editura Universitii din
Pitesti, 2009.
3
Fowler, H.W.&F.G., The Kings English, Wordsworth ReIerence,
1993, p.329







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

31
AIter stating that although rejected by some grammarians
today, the split inIinitive` has gained currency,
4
Levichi quotes
Evans (470) who warmly advocates the use oI split inIinitives,
adding that 'any number oI words may stand between to and the
verb Iorm, but who warns against exaggeration. At the same
time he analyses the position oI the adverb within a compound
inIinitive: 'In a composite inIinitive involving the auxiliary be
or have and a participle, the normal position Ior the adverb is
aIter the auxiliary and not beIore it. That is, to have always
thought is the normal word order and to always have thought is
a variation that adds special emphasis.
Whitten and Whitaker recommend (Gooa ana Baa
English, 1946: 55-57) a number oI split inIinitives, oI which
5
:
to clearly unaerstana to wholly agree
to fully reali:e to glaaly consent
to flatly refuse to again meet
to thankfully receive to cautiously require
to quietly await to coraially greet
But there are some idiomatic expressions that cannot be
split: to think fit, to see fit,
6
e.g.
They thought fit to blame everything on Tom.

4
Levichi, L., Limba engle: contemporan - Morfologie, Editura
Didactic si Pedagogic, Bucuresti, 1970, p.210
5
Ibidem, p.211
6
Zdrenghea, M., Greere, L., A Practical English Grammar with
Exercises, Editura Clusium, 1997, p.406








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 32
Thomson and Martinet state that it used to be considered
bad style to split an inIinitive, but there is now a more relaxed
attitude to this. Some adverbs oI degree such as completely,
entirely can be interIered between to and the rest oI the verb,
e.g.:
to completely cover the floor instead oI to cover the floor
completely (but it is saIer to keep the conventional order, as in
the second example.)
Certain adverbs however can never be placed between
the particle to and the inIinitive: only, merely, not.
7

Erin Billy clearly tola Lucy to not go to the Cambriage test
centre without iaentification.
Non-adverbial insertions
There are rare examples oI non-adverbial insertions into
inIinitives, as in It was their nature to all hurt each other.
(adjective)


7
Schibsbye; K., A Moaern English Grammar, London, OxIord,
University Press, 1973, p.26







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

33
NONFINITE -IAC FORMS

Traditional grammarians reIer to the present participle,
the gerund, the verbal adjective and the verbal noun as -ing
Iorms, since all Iour oI them have the same Iorm (inIinitivethe
-ing suIIix), while the diIIerences between them in point oI their
grammatical regimen are sometimes very subtle.
Concerning the number oI the -ing Iorms, opinions
diverge as Iollows:
a) Some grammarians such as: A. Bdescu (1963), B. Ilyish
(1963), Thomson & Martinet (1986) claim that one can
speak oI only two nonIinite -ing Iorms, that is: the present
participle and the gerund, considering the verbal adjective
as a Iunction oI the indeIinite participle which is said to have
the Ieatures oI both an adjective and oI an adverb, and the
verbal noun as a variant oI the gerund which is treated as a
hybrid Iorm having both verbal and nominal Ieatures.
b) An opposite point oI view is that oI L. Levichi (1970), A.
Bantas (1991) and W.Collins (1992) who make a clear
distinction between the present participle and the verbal
adjective as well as between the gerund and the verbal noun,
distinguishing Iour -ing Iorms instead oI two.
c) A structural view on the matter is given by R. Quirk (1991)
and G. Leech (1991) who do not use the traditional
denomination oI -ing Iorms and choose to speak oI -ing








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 34
clauses instead, with the speciIication that nominal -ing
clauses are called gerunds by traditional grammarians.
K.Schibsbye (1973) as well as R. Quirk claim the
existence oI a IiIth -ing Iorm represented by prepositions and
conjunctions such as: concerning, regarding, excepting,
providing, supposing, considering, including.

THE INDEFINITE PARTICIPLE

The indeIinite/present participle represents a nonIinite
Iorm oI the verb which denotes a continuous action or state
when, as part oI a verbal predicate it Iorms the continuous
aspect oI a verb, or it indicates time, cause, reason, manner or
attendant circumstances as part oI an adverbial modiIier oI time,
cause, reason, manner oI comparison or attendant
circumstances.
The present participle is Iormed by adding the -ing
ending to the short present inIinitive Iorm oI a notional verb:
going, walking, coming.
There are the Iollowing spelling rules when adding the -
ing suIIix to the short inIinitive Iorm oI a verb:
a) A Iinal consonant is doubled iI the preceding vowel is short
and stressed:
stop - stopping
to rub - rubbing







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

35
to refer - referring
The letter r is always doubled when it is part oI a stressed
syllable:
to infer - inferring
b) Final l is doubled in all cases oI stress in British English:
to cancel - cancelling
to travel - travelling
But: to travel - traveling (in American English)
c) The Iinal e oI the inIinitive is dropped:
to like - liking
to live - living
There are also the Iollowing exceptions to this rule:
to dye - dyeing
to eye - eyeing
to singe - singeing
to tinge - tingeing
to canoe - canoeing
to hoe - hoeing
to shoe - shoeing
to toe - toeing
to queue - queueing
d) Final y is preserved beIore the -ing ending:
to fly - flying
to play - playing
e) Final ie is changed into y:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 36
to lie - lying
to die - dying
to underlie - underlying
Traditional grammarians such as: A.Bdescu (1),
A.Bantas (2), L. Levichi (3), Thomson & Martinet (4) as well
as K. Schibsbye (5) and W. Collins (6) make a detailed analysis
oI the present participle, distinguishing it clearly Irom the
gerund and the other -ing Iorms while pointing out the
diIIerences in use both in Iormal and inIormal English.
On the other hand, a structural view on the matter is
given by R. Quirk (7) and G. Leech (8) who do not make a clear
distinction between the present participle and the gerund, Ior
example, choosing to speak oI -ing clauses or -ing Iorms and
trying to take into consideration their main uses in contemporary
English. Quirk, however, approaches the traditional point oI
view saying that there are two types oI nonIinite -ing participle
phrases: a progressive one which expresses the meaning
characteristic oI the progressive / continuous aspect and which is
the equivalent oI the -ing Iorm called present participle by
traditional grammarians, and another one, which is non-
progressive and may be identiIied with what the traditional
grammar considers to be a gerund.
Thus, according to him, in the sentence:
They caught him smoking cigarettes (L-au prins
Iumnd/n timp ce Iuma), the -ing Iorm smoking is a







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

37
progressive -ing participle phrase equivalent to while he was
smoking (n timp ce Iuma) and traditionally explained by the
use oI an -ing participle aIter the verb to catch as part oI an
Accusative with the Participle Construction , while the same
Iorm in the sentence: Smoking cigarettes is aangerous (Fumatul
este periculos) is a non-progressive participle phrase,
Iunctioning as part oI a subject and traditionally called a gerund
within the gerund construction Smoking cigarettes which
discharges the Iunction oI subject.
Thus, Leon Levichi and Andrei Bantas consider that the
present participle has a strictly verbal character, Thomson &
Martinet as well as Schibsbye talk about the adjectival and
verbal Ieatures oI the present participle whereas Alice Bdescu
also mentions an adverbial character since the -ing participle
also Iunctions as part oI an adverbial modiIier .
A comprehensive view oI the present participle as
presented by the grammarians listed above has enabled us to
make a detailed presentation oI its uses and oI the various
possibilities oI translation as Iollows:
1. It is used to Iorm the continuous aspect tenses oI the
Indicative, Conditional and Subjunctive Moods, a case in
which its verbal Iunction is obvious as part oI a verbal
predicate or oI a modal verbal predicate. In all these cases oI
usage the present participle does not have a Romanian
equivalent in point oI translation since in Romanian the








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 38
continuous aspect (built up with the help oI the present
participle in English) is usually rendered either by means oI
various adverbs completing the meaning expressed by the
respective verbal Iorm or by means oI such tenses as the
Romanian 'imperIect.
Customs authorities are vigorously exercising their
powers unaer the new Act.
|Autoritile de la vam si exercit puternic la ora
actual puterea sub egida Noului Act.| (B.D.Graver-Advanced
English Practice)
When the storm broke, I was working in the garaen.
(B.D.Graver-op.cit.)
|Cnd a izbucnit Iurtuna, lucram/munceam n grdin.|
She couldn't be swimming in the lake unless she haa
learnt how to swim.
|Ea n-ar putea s noate n lac dac n-ar Ii nvat s
noate.| (G.Gleanu-Sinteze de gramatic englez)
I wish he weren't asking so many questions.
(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|As vrea ca el s nu mai pun att de multe ntrebri.|
Adrian Nicolescu (9) in Tendine n engleza britanic
contemporan comments upon the increasing usage oI the -ing
Iorms in contemporary English, illustrating it by:
a) the increasing preIerence Ior the -ing Iorms as part oI the
verbal constructions which allow the use oI such Iorms;







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

39
b) the use oI the -ing Iorms in the case oI some verbs which
are not normally used in the progressive aspect;
c) the Irequency in use oI some verbal constructions containing
-ing Iorms.
Concerning the increasing use oI the -ing participle as
part oI a present continuous tense, A. Nicolescu notes that
modern grammars tend to extend the rules regarding the usage
oI the present continuous tense beyond what they call 'the
moment oI speaking. As a result, a new term, that oI general or
extended present, has been introduced to express a series oI
general truths which used to be rendered only by a simple
present tense or by a Iuture tense.
Thus, in the sentence:
A: Is she still playing tennis?
B: Oh yes, shes playing a lot of tennis every Sunaay.
(A.Nicolescu-op.cit.) - the -ing Iorm playing which helps the
Iormation oI the present continuous tense oI the verb to play is
used to express a habitual, recurrent action indicated by the
adverbial every Sunday, which traditional grammars would
express by a simple present tense, while in the sentences:
A: What are you doing next weekena?
B: I think we are all going to Scotlana. (A.Nicolescu-op.cit.)-
the -ing Iorm going which is part oI the verbal predicate are
going expressed by a notional verb in the present continuous








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 40
tense renders a Iuture action as indicated by the adverbial next
weekend, once expressed only by a Iuture tense .
A. Nicolescu also notes a growing tendency oI the verbi
sentiendi to be used in the continuous / progressive aspect,
breaking thus the traditional rule according to which verbs
Ialling under this category (to see, to hear, to smell etc.) are not
to be used in the progressive aspect except Ior the cases when
they have special meanings.
R. Quirk conIirms this tendency and, as a result, gives
such examples as:
He was seeing the play.
|Jeaea/Se uita (la)/Urmrea piesa.|
Was he seeing the play?
|Jeaea/Se uita (la)/Urmrea el piesa?|
He wasn't seeing the play. (R.Quirk-A Comprehensive
Grammar of the English Language)
|Nu veaea/Nu se uita (la)/ Nu urmrea piesa.|
B. Ilyish even illustrates with examples Irom modern
writers:
Miss Courtright, I want to see you.
You're seeing me right now. (E.Caldwell)
|Domnisoar Courtright, vreau s ne vedem/ntlnim.
M veaei/ve:i chiar acum.|
Both were visibly hearing every wora of the
conversation ana ignoring it, at the same time. (Cary)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

41
|Era clar/evident/vizibil amndoi au:eau Iiecare cuvnt
al conversaiei dar n acelasi timp nu-l luau in seam/il
ignorau/se fceau c nu-l aua.|
In point oI translation it is to be noted that the underlined
continuous aspect verbal are translated into Romanian by their
basic sense Romanian equivalents and not by their special
meaning equivalents.
Similarly, the so called verbs oI perception such as: to
feel, to remember, to know, to mean, to understand, to
imagine, to like, to love, to hate, to think which, according to
the traditional rule are not used in the progressive tenses, also
tend to break this rule and to be used in the continuous aspect:
All the people in the programme are remembering the
aays of their chilahooa.
|Toi cei implicai n program ii amintesc zilele
copilriei.| (BBC Radio 4, 23 1une, 1968)
The matron at Guys Hospital aoes not know all she
should be knowing about this affair. (BBC 2 Television
Newsroom , 3 1uly 1968)
|Sora seI de la Spitalul Guy` nu stie tot ce ar trebui s
tie despre aceast aIacere.|
How are you liking the play?
|Ii place piesa?|
Im loving / hating it. (A.Nicolescu-op.cit.)
|Imi place foarte mult. / Nu imi place aeloc./ O ursc.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 42
Constructions oI the type I was hoping you would say
that / I was wondering whether ./ I`m forgetting names
translated by Speram c vei spune c ./ M intrebam aac ./
(De obicei) nu in minte/uit numele proprii come to illustrate
once more the growing tendency oI contemporary English
speakers to use the continuous / progressive aspect and
consequently the -ing Iorms .
2. AIter verbs of sensation as well as aIter such verbs as: catch,
find, get, have, keep, leave, start as part oI a participial
construction:
Dont mock or misfuage me if you hear me mumbling
spells, or calling upon what you aeem to have aiea out long ago.
( M.Sadoveanu-The Golden Bough, translated by Eugenia
Farca)
|S nu rdei de mine, nici s m judecai ru, dac m
vei auzi aescantana si invocana ceea ce, pentru
dumneavoastrm e de mult pierit.|
I felt black thoughts filling me, increasingly irresistible.
(I.L.Caragiale-Bubico, translated by E.D.Tappe)
|Eu sim cum m nvlesc, din ce n ce mai irezistibile,
ideile negre.|
If she catches you reading her aiary, shell be furious.
(Thomson & Martinet-A Practical English Grammar)
|Dac te prinde citinau-i jurnalul / c-i citeti jurnalul, se
va nIuria.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

43
I left him talking to her. (Thomson & Martinet-op.cit.)
|L-am lsat vorbina cu ea.|
I simply can't have Helen wasting her time aoing
nothing. (A.Bantay-Don`t Worry)
|Pur si simplu nu pot s accept ca Helen s-i piara
timpul si s nu fac/fr s fac nimic.|
From the above examples it is to be noted that most ing
Iorms (mumbling, calling upon, reaaing, talking) are translated
by Romanian 'gerunziu verbal Iorms (aescantana, invocana,
citina, vorbina), while others such as filling and wasting have
either Romanian 'indicativ prezent or 'conjunctiv prezent
correspondents (m nvlesc, s-i piara).
3. To replace a relative pronoun verb construction:
Young women of such birth, living in a quiet country
house, ana attending a village church haraly larger than a
parlour, naturally regaraea frippery as the ambition of a
hucksters aaughter. (G.Eliot-Middlemarch translated by
Eugen B. Marian)
|Young women oI such birth who live in a quiet country
house, and who attend a village church hardly larger than a
parlour .|
|Era Iiresc ca dou tinere cu o asemenea obrsie, care
triau ntr-un tihnit conac de ar si se auceau la slujba
religioas ntr-o bisericu steasc ceva mai ncptoare dect








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 44
un salon, s considere c zorzoanele sunt o ambiie demn de o
Iiic de boccengiu.|
4. Present participle phrases such as: adding /pointing out /
reminding /warning are used to introduce statements in indirect
speech:
He tola me to start early, reminding me that the roaas
woula be crowaea.(Thomson & Martinet - op. cit.)
|Mi-a spus s plec/s pornesc la drum devreme,
amintinau-mi c drumurile vor Ii aglomerate.|
5. AIter go, come, spend, waste, be busy:
They are going riding. (Thomson & Martinet -op. cit.)
|Se duc s clreasc.|
Come dancing. (T & M- op. cit.)
|Vino s aanse:i.|
Angela was busy doing the accounts. (1. Eastwood-
Oxford Guide To English Grammar)
|Angela era ocupat cu fcutul calculelor.|
J. Eastwood (10) speciIies that the verbs go and come are
Iollowed by a present participle when one wants to talk about
some activities away Irom the home, especially leisure
activities:
Ia love to go swimming.
|Mi-ar plcea s merg s inot.|
Come cycling with me. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Vino s ne plimbm cu bicicleta.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

45
He also distinguishes between go shopping (a merge la
cumprturi), which usually means leisure shopping (clothes, Ior
example) and do the shopping (a Iace cumprturi), which
means buying Iood. In point oI translation it is to be noted that
Romanians also tend to make the same distinction between the
meaning oI the Romanian noun 'cumprturi associated with
the verb 'a merge and that oI the same word associated with
the verb 'a Iace. Going even Iurther with the translation
analysis one can say that in both languages the verb to go with
its Romanian equivalent a merge includes in its semantic Iield
the idea oI distance crossed Ior shopping whereas the verb to do
with its Romanian counterpart a face implies a smaller distance
or almost no distance at all since we usually do our shopping at
the nearest supermarket. Thus, the diIIerence oI meaning
between the two apparently synonymous verbs makes up Ior the
homonymy oI the noun shopping (or cumprturi) which has
diIIerent reIerents in each case, that is something to wear,
something one would like to have or the like Ior to go shopping,
and Iood Ior to do the shopping.
The verbs waste and spend are, according to Thomson
& Martinet, mostly used with an expression oI time or money
Iollowed by a present participle:
He aoesnt spend much time preparing his lessons. (T &
M-op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 46
|El nu pierde mult timp s-i pregteasc leciile/cu
pregtirea leciilor.|
They wasted several hours trying to unaerstana what
haa happenea. (G. Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Ei au pieraut mai multe ore incercana s neleag ce
s-a ntmplat.|
6. Present participles can replace subject verb in other main or
subordinate clauses:
Coming up the steps, I fell over. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|In timp ce/cana urcam scrile, m-am mpiedicat si am
czut.| but also
|Urcana scrile, m-am mpiedicat si am czut.|
Being rather busy, I completely forgot the time. (1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Fiina destul de ocupat, pur si simplu nu mi-am dat
seama ct este ceasul.|
Thomson & Martinet make a comprehensive
presentation oI the cases in which a present participle can
replace a main clause as Iollows:
a) When two actions by the same subject occur simultaneously,
it is posssible to express one oI them by a present participle
which Iunctions as a predicative adjunct:
We sat there talking
till the moon was high
two kinas of men







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

47
both waiting to aie . (1ohn Paris-A Ballad of The
Times)
|Am stat acolo vorbina/i am vorbit
pn ce luna s-a ridicat pe cer
doi oameni diIerii
amndoi ateptana s moar.|
The translation into Romanian oI the above lines allows
one to say that the usual 'gerunziu correspondent is not to be
preIerred to the 'prezent indicativ verbal Iorm which is more
speciIic to the Romanian and sounds more naturally. More than
that, in the Iirst variant (i.e. Stteam acolo vorbina), the stress is
laid on the very action oI sitting, which does not coincide with
the original in which the accent Ialls on their having talked till
the moon was high and which Iinds its semantic equivalent in
the Romanian Stteam acolo i vorbeam.
b) When an action is immediately Iollowed by another by the
same subject, the Iirst action can oIten be expressed by a present
participle which must be placed Iirst and which Iunctions as part
oI an adverbial modiIier oI time:
1aking a note from her purse, she slammea it aown on
the counter. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Dup ce a scos/Scoana un bilet din geant, ea l-a trntit
pe tejghea.|
This pattern is, according to Eastwood, rather literary. It
is more neutral to use two main clauses:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 48
She took a note from her purse ana slammea it aown on
the counter.
|A scos un bilet din geant si l-a trntit pe tejghea.|
In point oI translation one could say that the back
translation oI our variant would not correspond entirely to the
original Irom a morphological viewpoint, since in the sentence
After taking (having taken) a note form her purse, she slammea
it aown on the counter which represents the back translation oI
the Romanian variant, the ing Iorm taking Iunctions as a
present gerund and not as a present participle as was the case in
the original sentence. On the other hand, a word-Ior-word
translation into Romanian oI the original, that is Scoana un bilet
ain geant, ea l-a trantit pe tefghea does not imply the idea oI
anteriority expressed in English with the help oI the present
participle taking placed at the beginning oI the sentence so as to
indicate the reverse order oI the actions denoted by the
respective predicates.
c) When the second action is part oI the Iirst or is a result oI it,
one can express the second action by a present participle which
discharges the syntactic Iunction oI part oI an adverbial modiIier
oI result and which may be translated into Romanian by a
'gerunziu:
The film star maae a aramatic entrance, attracting
everyones attention. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

49
|Starul de cinema si-a Icut o intrare dramatic, atrgana
atenia tuturor.|
A present participle can also replace a subordinate clause
introduced by as, since, because:
Feeling awkwara with strangers, Michael aiant say
much. (G. Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Siminau-se ciudat n preajma unor oameni strini,
Michael nu a spus prea multe/ nu a prea vorbit.|
Crowas were waiting at the airport, hoping to see
Maaonna arrive. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|O mulime de oameni/Mulimi ntregi de oameni
asteptau la aeroport, sperana s o vad pe Madonna cnd
soseste.|
The subject oI the present participle need not be the same
as the subject oI the Iollowing verb, both when the present
participle replaces a main and a subordinate clause:
The car exploaea, its parts spreading all over the fiela.
(G. Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Masina a explodat, buci din ea imprtiinau-se pe tot
cmpul.|
The restaurant being closea, there was nowhere to eat.
(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Restaurantul fiina nchis, n-aveai unde s mnnci.|
Two or more participles can be used one aIter the other:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 50
Aot knowing the language ana having no frienas in the
town, he founa it hara to get work. (Thomson & Martinet-
op.cit.)
|Pentru c nu cunotea limba si nu avea nici un prieten n
oras, i s-a prut greu s-si gseasc o slujb.| In such a
sentence in which we have two coordinated present participles it
is more diIIicult to translate them both by Romanian 'gerunziu
verbal Iorms which would sound unnaturally (Necunoscana
limba si neavana nici un prieten .), all oI which lead one to
choose a Romanian 'imperIect as a better solution in point.
In the sentence a present participle may be accompanied
by:
a) a direct object:
I heara one of them whisper, prodding his neighbour in
the ribs. (M. Sadoveanu-op.cit.)
|Am auzit eu pe unul soptind si ghiontina cu cotul pe cel
de alturea.|
b) an indirect object:
Ponaering upon all this while waiting Ior a tetrao
urogalus specimen to alight on a spruce, I observea the
constellations from the threshola of the cave. (M. Sadoveanu-
op.cit.)
|Cugetnd la toate acestea si ateptana s soseasc ntr-
un molid un exemplar de tetrao urogalus, contemplam din
pragul pesterii constelaiile.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

51
c) a prepositional object:
I saw five sworas
stuck in the grouna
ana a white aove dying among them. (1.Paris-op.cit.)
|Am vzut cinci sabii
nIipte n pmnt
si un porumbel alb murina printre ele.|
d) an adverbial:
That in our aays the learnea men
Are waiting for the birth
Of a young prince descending Irom
Romanian faith ana worth. (O.Goga-A Wish, translated
by L.Levichi)
|Si c azi oamenii-nvai
Asteapt s se nasc
Un tnr crai coborator
Din legea romneasc.|
According to traditional grammarians, the present
participle may be used:
1) as part oI an attribute:
Notions ana scruples were like spilt neeales, making one
afraia of treaaing, or sitting aown, or even eating. (G. Eliot-
op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 52
|Noiunile si scrupulele erau ca o mn de ace
mprstiate te fceau s-i Iie team s psesti prin cas, s te
asezi sau chiar s mnnci.|
R.Quirk comments upon the postmodiIication oI the
noun phrase by an -ing participle clause which discharges the
Iunction oI an attribute and which is the equivalent oI a relative
clause in which the relative pronoun is subject. Thus, the
sentence:
The person writing reports is my colleague - has as an
equivalent relative clause the sentence:
The person who is writing reports is my colleague - in
which the relative pronoun who discharges the Iunction oI
subject. It is to be noted that both synonymous English versions
are translated into Romanian by: Persoana care scrie rapoarte
este colega/colegul mea(u) which stands Ior the translation into
Romanian oI both the present participle containing sentence and
oI its English relative clause correspondent since in Romanian
there is no construction oI the type: Persoana scriina rapoarte
este colega/colegul mea(u) which would be a perIect syntactic
equivalent oI the ing containing English structure.
Quirk also draws one`s attention to the Iact that -ing
Iorms in post modiIying clauses should not be seen as
abbreviated progressive Iorms in relative clauses. Stative verbs,
Ior example, which cannot have the progressive in the Iinite
verb phrase, can appear in participial Iorm. Thus, the sentence:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

53
This is a liquia with a taste resembling that of soap
water will have as an equivalent relative clause:
This is a liquia with a taste which resembles (and not is
resembling) soapy water translated by Acesta este un lichia cu
un gust (care este) asemntor cu :oalele ae spun.
The tense to be attributed to the -ing participle clause
Iunctioning as attribute will usually be that oI the Iinite clause in
which the noun phrase occurs. Thus, in the sentences:
Do you know the man talking to my sister? and
Dia you know the man talking to my sister?, the -ing
participle clause talking to my sister has as a Iirst equivalent
relative clause the sentence: who is talking to my sister and as
a second equivalent relative clause who was talking to my
sister Iunction oI the tense oI the Iinite verb in the main clause.
The translation into Romanian oI the two ing participle clauses
proves that in Romanian also they are to be translated Iunction
oI the tense oI the verb in the main clause, i.e. Il ve:i pe brbatul
care vorbete cu sora mea? and L-ai v:ut pe brbatul care
vorbete cu sora mea?.
2) as an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
cause:
With prices going up so fast, we cant affora luxuries. (1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Din cau:a preurilor care cresc att de repede/Preurile
crescana att de repede, nu ne putem permite o via de lux.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 54
3) as an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
time:
Mike hurt his hana playing badminton. (1. Eastwood-
op.cit.)
|Mike s-a rnit la mn in timp ce fuca badminton.|
In the above example, however, it is to be observed that a
translation oI the ing Iorm playing by its usual 'gerunziu
Romanian correspondent would be to a certain extent
ambiguous since in the Romanian sentence Mike s-a rnit la
man fucana baaminton, jucnd may also be syntactically
interpreted as an adverbial modiIier oI manner. On the other
hand, its translation by a subordinate temporal clause leaves
room Ior no other interpretation as to its syntactical regimen.
4) as an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
attendant circumstances:
She turnea away lingering, not without tears on her face.
(L. Levichi-Limba englez contemporan)
|S-a ntors ovina/e:itana cu lacrimi curgndu-i pe
Ia.|
5) as part oI an adverbial modiIier oI manner:
Sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, tapping the
rocks ana collecting chips for his collection, we thus climbea up
ana then aown again to the Climani Mountains.
(M.Sadoveanu-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

55
|n unele pri clri, n altele pedestri, ciocnina stncile
si aaunana sIrmituri pentru coleciile lui, suirm astIel si
coborrm ctre Climani.|
6) as part oI a participial construction:
x The Accusative with the Participle: We watchea Henry
leading his team to victory.(A.Bantay-Don`t Worry)
|L-am urmrit pe Henry conaucanau-si echipa spre
victorie./Am urmrit cum Henry ii conauce echipa la
victorie.|
x The Nominative with the Participle: They were seen
watering the horses. (L.Levichi-Gramatica limbii
engleze)
|Au Iost vzui aapana caii.|
x The Absolute Nominative with the Participle: All the
canaiaates being examinea, the examiners left the
classroom. (L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Dup ce toi candidaii au fost examinai/Toi candidaii
fiina examinai, examinatorii au prsit clasa.|
7) in parenthetical participial phrases such as: roughly
speaking, generally speaking, judging by appearances,
granting that, supposing that, admitting that, properly
speaking, leaving aside:
Ana as to refusing an acre of your grouna for a
Romanist chapel, all men neeaea the briale of religion, which








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 56
properly speaking, was the areaa of a Hereafter. (G.Eliot-
op.cit.)
|.iar n legtur cu reIuzul de a acorda un acru de teren
pentru a se nla o capel romano-catolic, declara c toi
oamenii au nevoie de Irna religiei cci, la urma urmei, ea
reprezint spaima n Iaa vieii de apoi.|
In point oI translation oI the parenthetical participial
phrase properly speaking Irom the above example, one can
also mention a second variant, i.e. la arept vorbina, which
would be perhaps closer to the original ing participial phrase,
containing the Romanian 'gerunziu vorbina which represents
the most common possibility oI translation oI the English
present participle.
Strictly speaking, you cant come in here unless you are
a club member.(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|La arept vorbina, nu poi intra aici dac nu esti membru
al acestui club.|
1alking of computers, ours broke aown yesteraay.(1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Apropo/venina vorba ae de computere, al nostru s-a
stricat ieri.|
ReIerring to the syntactic Iunctions oI the present
participle, J. Eastwood considers that it can also Iunction as:
x an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
result :







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

57
They pumpea waste into the river, killing all the fish.
|Au deversat resturi in ru, omorana astIel toi pestii.|
x an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
condition :
All being well, we shoula be home about six .
|Dac totul merge/aecurge bine, ar trebui s ajungem
acas pe la 6/probabil vom ajunge acas pe la 6.|

THE PERFECT PARTICIPLE

The perIect participle is made up oI the present participle
Iorm oI the auxiliary to have Iollowed by the past participle
Iorm oI the verb to be conjugated: having written, having seen,
having thought.
The perIect participle connotes the idea oI an action or
state prior to the action or state denoted by the deIinite verb.
There are cases though, when the perIect participle like
the present participle also expresses the idea oI cause or time, as
part oI an adverbial modiIier oI cause or time.
Having listened to the speaker for five minutes, he got up
ana left. (B.D.Graver-op.cit.)
|Dup ce l-a ascultat cinci minute pe cel care vorbea, s-a
ridicat si a plecat.|
Having lost my passport, I have to apply for a new one.
(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 58
|Pentru c mi-am pieraut pasaportul, trebuie s Iac
cerere pentru unul nou.|
From the above examples one can see that iI in the case
oI the present participle one had the possibility oI translating it
either by means oI a Romanian 'gerunziu or oI an indicative
mood verbal Iorm, the perIect participle can only be translated
into Romanian by a subordinate clause with the verb in the
indicative mood and a speciIic conjunction indicating its
syntactical regimen.
According to traditional grammars, the perIect participle
can be used instead oI the present participle in sentences where
one action is immediately Iollowed by another one with the
same subject:
Opening the file, the aetective took out a newspaper
cutting. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Deschi:ana dosarul, detectivul a scos un Iragment/o
bucat de ziar.|
|Having opened the Iile, the detective took out a
newspaper cutting.|
|Dup ce a aeschis dosarul, detectivul a scos un
Iragment/o bucat de ziar.|
In such a case oI perIect grammatical and semantic
synonymy between the present and the perIect participle it is to
be noted that in point oI translation the Romanian 'gerunziu
aeschi:ana is more ambiguous than its subordinate temporal







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

59
clause correspondent Dup ce a aeschis aosarul which clearly
indicates the anteriority oI the action denoted by the verb to
open as to the one denoted by the verb to take out.
The perIect participle is however necessary when there is
an interval oI time between the two actions:
Having dug a hole in the roaa, the men fust aisappearea.
(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Dup ce au spat o groap n zid, oamenii au disprut
pur si simplu.|
The perIect participle just like the present participle oI
transitive verbs has voice distinctions. B.D.Graver illustrates the
Iour possible -ing participle Iorms:
Choosing his woras with care, the speaker suggestea
that the Government was mistaken in its attituae. (Active
Present Participle)
|Aleganau-i cuvintele cu grij, vorbitorul a sugerat ca
Guvernul a luat o poziie gresit.|
He wasnt askea to take on the chairmanship of the
society, being considered insufficiently popular with all
members. (Passive Present Participle)
|Nu i s-a propus s preia conducerea societii, fiina
consiaerat insuIicient de popular printre toi membri.|
Having picked the team to meet Inaia in the final test
match, the selectors now have to wait till Tuesaay to aiscover
whether or not their choice was wise. (Active PerIect Participle )








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 60
|Selecionana/ Dup ce au selecionat echipa pentru
meciul Iinal cu India, selecionerii trebuie s astepte acum pn
joi s vad dac alegerea Icut a Iost neleapt sau nu.|
Having been told that the baa weather was on the way,
the climbers aeciaea to put off their attempt on the Eiger until
the following week. (Passive PerIect Participle)
|Spunanau-li-se / Pentru c i se spusese c avea s vin
vreme rea, alpinistii au hotrt s amne ncercarea lor de a
excalada vrIul Eiger pn sptmna urmtoare.|
The passive perIect participle is used when it is
necessary to emphasize that the action expressed by the
participle happened beIore the action expressed by the next
verb:
Having been warned about the banaits, he left his
valuables at home. (Thomson & Martinet-op.cit.)
|Fiina averti:at n legtur cu bandiii, el si-a lsat
lucrurile de valoare acas.|
In a sentence a perIect participle may Iunction as:
a) an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
time:
Having finished the painting, he gave a sigh of relief.
(B.D.Graver-op.cit.)
|Terminana / Dup ce a terminat tabloul, a rsuIlat
usurat.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

61
b) an adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI
cause:
Having married very late, he was only a year short of
fifty when I was born. (Collins-English Grammar )
|Insuranau-se / Pentru c se insurase Ioarte trziu, avea
49 de ani cnd eu m-am nscut.|

MISRELATED AND UNRELATED PARTICIPLES

The problem oI the misrelated and oI the unrelated
participles has been taken into consideration by such
grammarians as: Thomson & Martinet, R. Quirk and
B.D.Graver Irom whom only the latter studied them both,
making a clear distinction between them while the others chose
to speak only oI those which seemed more signiIicant to them.
Thus, R.Quirk dealt with the problem oI the unrelated
participles, taking into consideration the attachment rule and its
exceptions while Thomson & Martinet pointed out the
misrelated participles.
An unrelated participle is a present participle Iorm which
does not reIer to any particular word in the sentence:
Consiaering the circumstances, that is not so baa.
(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|In circumstanele ae fa/Anali:ana situaia ae fa, asta
nu e chiar asa de ru.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 62
Quirk in his grammar talks about the so-called
attachment rule according to which when a subject is not
present in a non-Iinite or verbless clause, the rule Ior
identiIying the subject is that it is assumed to be identical in
reIerence to the subject oI the superordinate clause.
According to him, the attachment rule does not apply in
certain cases:
a) II the clause is a style disjunct, the implied subject is the
subject oI the implied clause oI speaking, normally I:
Putting it mildly, you have causea us some
inconvenience. (Quirk-op.cit.)
|Fr a face mare ca: ae asta, ne-ai/ne-ai cam
creat/Icut probleme.|
Strictly speaking, the Isle of Man is not part of the
Unitea Kingaom. (B.D.Graver-op.cit.)
|La arept vorbina Insula Omului nu Iace parte din Marea
Britanie.|
b) When the implied subject is the whole oI the matrix clause:
The siren sounaea , indicating that the air raia was over.
|.which indicated that .|
|Sirena a sunat, anunana c raidul aerian s-a terminat.|
c) II the implied subject is an indeIinite pronoun or it, the
construction is considered less objectionable:
1udging from recent events, the Government appears to
be gaining in popularity. (B.D.Graver-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

63
|II one judges Irom .|
|Juaecana dup ultimele evenimente, Guvernul pare a
cstiga popularitate. |
Being Christmas , the government offices were closea.
|Since it was Christmas,.|
|Pentru c era srbtoarea Crciunului/Fiina
Crciunul, birourile guvernului erau nchise.|
d) In Iormal scientiIic writing, the construction has become
institutionalized where the implied subject is to be identiIied
with the I, we, you oI the writer or reader:
When treating patients with language retaraation ana
aeviation of language aevelopment, the therapy consists in part
of aiscussions of the patients problems with parents ana
teachers, with subsequent language teaching carriea out by
them.
|Cnd se tratea:/cana se afl sub tratament pacieni
retardai cu deIecte de vorbire si deviere/ntrziere de/n
dezvoltare(a) a limbajului, terapia const n parte din discuii cu
prinii si proIesorii n legtur cu/pe marginea
problemele/problemelor pacientului, completat de predarea n
continuare a limbii acestia din urm.|
The translation into Romanian oI the above example
proves that there is a semantic correspondence between the
ing verbal Iorm treating and the Romanian reIlexive voice
predicate se tratea: in the sense that they both denote actions








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 64
made by implied an implied subject which represents indeed the
I, we, you oI the writer.
ReIerring to the same exceptions to the attachment rule,
B.D.Graver considers that one may also speak oI an unattached
participle in the case oI a present participle Iorm having the
Iorce oI a preposition:
Regarding the question of absenteeism, a sense of
responsibility seems to have been lacking in some workers.
(B.D.Graver-op.cit.)
|In ceea ce privete/Privitor la problema absenteismului,
muncitorii se pare c au dus lips de simul responsabilitii.|
On the other hand a misrelated participle is an -ing Iorm
linked to the wrong noun or pronoun.
Thomson & Martinet enunciate the general rule
according to which a participle Iorm oI the verb is considered to
belong to the noun / pronoun which precedes it:
Romeo, believing that Juliet was aeaa, aeciaea to kill
himself. (T & M-op.cit.)
|Romeo, cre:ana c Julieta era moart, s-a hotrt s se
sinucid.|
II there is no noun or pronoun in this position, the
participle is considered to belong to the subject oI the Iollowing
main verb:
Being stunnea by the blow, Peter fell heavily. (T & M-
op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

65
|Peter had been stunned|
|Lovitura lsanau-l incontient, Peter a czut la pmnt.|
Once this principle is disregarded, conIusion results.
Thus, the sentence:
Waiting for a bus a brick fell on my heaa (Ateptana
autobuzul mi-a czut o crmid n cap) - may imply in English
that the brick was waiting Ior a bus, which is nonsense. In
Romanian, on the other hand, the ambiguity is smaller since one
can talk in Romanian about an implied subject whose presence
is not absolutely necessary in the sentence, as it is to be
deduced Irom the characteristic verbal desinence.
The correct Iorm in order to avoid conIusion would be:
As I was waiting for a bus, a brick fell on my heaa.
|In timp ce ateptam autobuzul, mi-a czut o crmid n
cap.|
B.D.Graver gives a similar example in order to illustrate
a misrelated participle. Thus, in the sentence:
Stanaing in the miaale of the crowa, the sense of
frustration ana anger coula be plainly felt (Stana n mijlocul
mulimii, se putea simi un sentiment de Irustrare si de mnie)-
the participle is related to the sense of frustration and anger
which could not be standing in the middle oI he crowd.
What the writer intended was:
Stanaing in the miaale of the crowa, I coula plainly feel
the sense of frustration ana anger.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 66
|Stana/pe cana stteam n mijlocul mulimii, am putut
simi un sentiment de Irustrare si de mnie.|

SPECIAL PARTICIPIAL CONSTRUCTIONS

Most traditional grammarians distinguish between the
Accusative with the Participle, the Nominative with the
Participle, the Nominative Absolute Participial Construction
and the Absolute Participial Construction. There are however
diIIerences oI opinion since L.Levichi takes into consideration
only the Accusative with the Participle, the Nominative with
the Participle and the Nominative Absolute Participial
Construction while A.Bdescu and G. Gleanu consider that
there is also a Iourth construction which they call the Absolute
Participial Construction.
Other grammarians such as: R.Quirk, G.Leech,
W.Collins, J. Eastwood, B.D.Graver and even Thomson &
Martinet do not reIer to these traditionally called participial
constructions as such, but choose to speak oI the use oI an -ing
Iorm ( be it a present participle or a gerund ) aIter some verbs, a
case in which they talk about the verb+object+present
participle / gerund pattern.
In point oI their translation into Romanian it is to be
mentioned that among all the traditional grammarians only A.
Bdescu takes it into consideration, proposing thus some







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

67
possibilities oI translation Ior each case oI usage she mentions
without giving a complete record oI them.
A detailed presentation oI these special participial
constructions, oI their uses in contemporary English as well as
oI their contextual translation as seen by the traditional
grammarians listed above would be the Iollowing:
1) The Accusative with the Participle - is a construction
analogous to the Accusative with the InIinitive Irom which it
diIIers slightly in that it generally implies a continuous action or
state. Its translation into Romanian generally consists either oI a
'gerunziu verbal Iorm or oI an indicative mood verbal Iorm:
I watched them climb the tower.
|L-am vzut cum a urcat/urcana n turn.|
I watched them climbing the tower. (R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|L-am privit cum urca/pe cina urca n turn.|
Thus, according to Quirk, in the examples above, the
inIinitive suggests that they reached the top oI the tower,
whereas the -ing participle climbing connotes the potential
incompleteness oI the progressive. The Romanian versions oI
the accusative with the inIinitive or with the participle
constructions do not connote the same idea, the only diIIerence
between them being one oI continuity in the case oI the present
participle and one oI a time point action in the case oI the
inIinitive. More than that, according to Romanian grammars the
'gerunziu connotes the idea oI a completed action which means








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 68
that urcana is in this case a translation variant Ior the English
inIinitive and not Ior the present participle which will be better
translated by an 'imperIect indicativ verbal Iorm.
The traditional usage oI the Accusative with the
Participle indicates that is used aIter:
a) Verbs denoting perception: to feel, to hear, to listen, to see,
to look at, to behold, to notice, to observe, to perceive, to
watch, to smell etc.
We saw the policeman directing the traffic.
(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|L-am vzut pe poliist conaucana / airifana traIicul.|
I smell the steak burning. (G. Gleanu-op.cit.)
In the twilight you will hear the cervus carpaticus
belling. (M.Sadoveanu-op.cit.)
|n amurg, avei s-auzii boncluina pe cervus
carpaticus.|
The construction Iormed by a participle and a direct
object is equivalent to a direct object clause:
Thus, I heard her speaking on the phone. (A. Bantay-
Don`t Worry) translated by Am au:it-o vorbind la telefon is
equivalent with I heara that she was speaking on the phone, i.e.
Am au:it-o c vorbea la telefon.
Thomson & Martinet comments upon the double usage
oI such verbs as: to see, to hear, to feel, to listen to, to notice,
to watch saying that they can be Iollowed by both an object a







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

69
present participle and by an object an inIinitive. It is also to be
noted that the participle is the more generally useIul as it can
express both complete and incomplete actions, drawing the
attention oI the speaker that the inIinitive will be used when
there is a succession oI actions:
I saw him enter the room, unlock a arawer, take out a
aocument, photograph it ana put it back.(T & M -op.cit.)
Translating this sentence into Romanian (L-am v:ut
cum intr in camer, descuie un sertar, scoate un aocument, il
fotografiaz i il pune la loc), one can see that the English
inIinitives Iind their equivalents in Romanian 'indicativ
prezent and not 'gerunziu verbal Iorms since the latter Iorms
would sound unnatural in an enumeration laying the stress on
the action denoted by the verb to see than on the ones expressed
by the respective inIinitives.
The inIinitive is also preIerred in the passive, aIter some
verbs oI the senses:
He was heara to say that the minister haa been bribea.
(T & M-op.cit.)
|A Iost auzit spunana/:icana/pe cana afirma c ministrul
Iusese mituit.|
b) Some other verbs: to catch, to find, to get, to have, to
imagine, to keep, to leave, to set, to start etc.
I started the engine running.
|Am pornit motorul.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 70
I can't have her humiliating herself like this. (A.Bantay-
op.cit.)
|Nu pot admite ca ea s se umileasc astIel.|
Thomson & Martinet also comment on the diIIerence in
content between the verbs to catch and to find Iollowed by an
object and a present participle. Thus, in the sentence:
I caught them stealing my apples (I-am prins furana/pe
cana furau mere) - the action expressed by the participle is
always one which displeases the subject while in the sentence:
I founa him standing at the aoor (L-am gsit stana la
us)- there is no Ieeling oI displeasure .
2) The Nominative with the Participle - is an equivalent
construction oI the Nominative with the InIinitive Irom which it
diIIers in that it implies a continuous action or state. It is
characterized by the Iact that the subject oI the verb predicate in
the passive voice is at the same time the subject oI the present
participle which accompanies it and which discharges the
syntactic Iunction oI predicative adjunct:
The man was seen saving a chila from arowning.
(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Brbatul a Iost vzut salvana copilul de la nec.|
The Nominative with the Participle is used aIter verbs of
perception as well as aIter some other verbs such as: to catch,
to find to get, to have, to imagine, to keep, to leave etc.,
representing the passive version oI the verb predicate







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

71
accompanied by an Accusative with the Participle Construction.
Thus, the sentence:
A noise was heard coming from the ship (Un zgomot a
Iost auzit venina dinspre nav)- is the passive version oI:
They heard a noise coming from the ship. (S-a auzit un
zgomot venind dinspre nav) - in which the subject oI the verbal
predicate in the passive voice a noise has become the direct
object in the accusative case oI the verbal predicate in the active
voice .
3) The Nominative Absolute Participial Construction - is a
construction in which the -ing participle stands in predicate
relation to a noun or pronoun in the nominative which is not the
subject oI the sentence:
The chilaren having gone to bea, I was now able to
relax.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Copiii aucanau-se la culcare, puteam acum s m
relaxez.|
According to L. Levichi, a Nominative Absolute
Participial Construction can discharge the Iollowing syntactic
Iunctions:
a) part oI an adverbial modiIier oI time:
The sun having risen, the traveller went on. (L.Levichi-
op.cit.)
|Dup ce a rsrit soarele, cltorul si-a continuat
drumul. |








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 72
b) part oI an adverbial modiIier oI cause:
There being another experiment to be performea, we
went into the secona laboratory. (L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Intrucit mai era/Rmanana/mai existana un alt
experiment de Icut, ne-am dus n al doilea laborator|
c) part oI an adverbial modiIier oI condition:
The sitting will begin, everyboay being present.
(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|ntrunirea va ncepe aac toat lumea este pre:ent.|
d) part oI an adverbial modiIier oI attendant circumstances or
oI a prepositional adverbial modiIier oI attendant circumstances:
He got up ana walkea carefully across the room, his
boots creaking at every step. (L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|S-a ridicat si a psit cu atenie prin camer, cizmele
scarainau-i la Iiecare pas. |
The boys playea on, with little Pete watching them.
(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Bieii au continuat s se joace, n timp ce micuul Pete
i privea.|
4) The Absolute Participial Construction - is treated as a
participial construction proper only by A.Bdescu while the
other traditional grammarians reIer to it as a parenthetical
participial phrase or an unrelated participle, considering that
there are only three participial constructions: the Accusative
with the Participle, the Nominative with the Participle and the







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

73
Nominative Absolute Participial Construction. It is characterized
by the Iact that the subject oI the present participle is missing:
Counting from tomorrow, it is twenty aays to the New
Year.
|Incepana/Socotina ae maine mai sunt 20 de zile pn la
Anul Nou.|
Cenerally speaking, the results are satisfactory.
|In general/General vorbina rezultatele sunt
satisIctoare.|
Other similar constructions: barring accidents,
beginning with our next issue, considering the
circumstances, going/judging by appearances, including
tomorrow, reckoning from today, regarding your
application, seeing that, strictly / properly speaking, taking
everything into account etc.
Barring accidents, we ought to make Capetown in two
aays.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Dac nu vom avea acciaente/Exceptana vreun acciaent,
ar trebui s ajungem la Capetown peste dou zile.|
Cranting this to be true, what follows? (G.Gleanu-
op.cit.)
|Presupunana/Acceptana c e adevrat, ce mai
urmeaz?|
Seeing that there is plenty of time, there is no neea to
hurry like that. (1. Eastwood-op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 74
|Avana in veaere faptul c mai e destul timp, nu e nevoie
s te grbesti att de ru.|

NOTES

1. Bdescu, A., Cramatica limbii engleze, Editura StiiniIic,
Bucuresti, 1963, pp. 331-338.
2. Bantay, A., Limba englez in liste yi tabele, Editura Teora,
Bucuresti, 1991, pp. 74-76 .
3. Levichi, L., Limba englez contemporan, Editura
Didactic si Pedagogic, Bucuresti, 1970, pp. 221-236.
4. Thomson, A.1., Martinet, A.V., A Practical English
Crammar, OxIord University Press, London, 1986, pp. 239-244.
5. Schibsbye, K., A Modern English Crammar, OxIord
University Press, London, 1973, pp.57-64 .
6. Collins,W., English Usage, Harper Collins Publishers,
London, 1992 , pp. 317-323 .
7. Quirk, R., Leech, G., Greenbaum, S., Svartnik, 1., A
Comprehensive Crammar of the English Language, Longman,
New York, 1991, pp. 153-154, 998-999, 1325-1326.
8. Leech, G. , An A-Z of English Crammar and Usage, Nelson,
London, 1991 , pp.209-214 .
9. Nicolescu, A. , 1endine n Engleza Britanic
Contemporan, TipograIia Universitii din Bucuresti, 1977,
pp. 278-282 .







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

75
10. Eastwood , 1., Oxford Cuide to English Crammar, OxIord
University Press, London, 1994, pp. 159-174.
11. Graver, B.D., Advanced English Practice, OxIord
University Press, London, 1986, pp.139-141, 152-154, 161-167.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 76
THE GERUND

The gerund has exactly the same Iorm as the present
participle, the diIIerence between them consisting, according to
the traditional grammars, in that the gerund along with its verbal
qualities has substantival Ieatures as well, while the present
participle is a strictly verbal Iorm. Thus, the gerund besides
having voice and tense distinctions, which are characteristic
verbal Ieatures, may also discharge the Iunctions oI subject,
direct object, predicative and prepositional object and be
preceded by an adjective, all oI which are substantival Ieatures.
Other grammarians such as: R.Quirk (1) and G.Leech
(2), aIter making a structural approach to the gerund Iorm oI a
verb choose not to speak oI a gerund construction as called by
the traditional grammars, but oI an -ing clause which becomes a
nominal -ing clause when it behaves like a noun phrase and a
present participle clause when it behaves more like an adjective
phrase.
On the other hand, B.Ilyish (3) asks himselI whether
there is reason enough to distinguish between the two
homonymous Iorms (the gerund and the present participle) or
whether one should rather speak oI only one -ing Iorm which in
diIIerent contexts acquires diIIerent shades oI meaning and
perIorms diIIerent syntactic Iunctions. Thus, according to him,
whereas in the Iollowing two sentences:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

77
Do you mina my smoking ? (Te deranjeaz fumatul
meu?) and
Do you mina me smoking? (Te deranjeaz c fume:?) -
the presence oI the possessive pronoun my or oI the personal
pronoun me allows one to distinguish between a gerund in the
Iirst sentence and a present participle in the second, the
sentence:
Do you mina her smoking? (Te deranjeaz c ea
Iumeaz/Iumatul ei?) - leaves no room Ior a double
interpretation oI the -ing Iorm smoking since her may be the
possessive pronoun corresponding to my or the objective case oI
the personal pronoun corresponding to me, a reason Ior which
the gerund and the present participle are practically
indistinguishable.
The distinction between them in point oI translation can
be made by translating the gerund by a noun (taking into
consideration the Iact that the gerund has substantival Ieatures)
preceded by a Romanian possessive adjective (fumatul meu) and
by translating the present participle by a direct object clause in
which the English personal accusative case pronoun is to be
Iound as a nominative case pronoun-expressed subject (c eu
fume:). The same possibilities oI translation are possible in the
case oI Quirk`s last example with the observation that the
distinction between a present participle and a gerund can only be








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 78
made throughout translation and not throughout their being
preceded by a possessive or personal pronoun as well.
The opinions also diverge when it comes to the syntactic
Iunctions oI the gerund since grammarians such as: A.Bdescu
(4), R.Quirk and G.Leech consider that it can discharge six
syntactic Iunctions: subject, direct object, indirect object,
predicative, attribute and adverbial modifier, while others
like K.Schibsbye (5) and A. Bantas (6) Iind only Iour syntactic
Iunctions: subject, object, predicative, complement of a
preposition.
In order to point out that the gerund is a hybrid Iorm
having the characteristics oI both a verb and a noun, traditional
grammars present the gerund`s substantival Ieatures as Iollows:
1) It may be subject, direct object, predicative and prepositional
object:
x subject (a case in which it is commmonly translated by a
noun): Riding was an inaulgence which she allowea herself
in spite of the conscientious qualms.(G.Eliot-Middlemarch
- translated by Eugen B. Marian)
|Clria era o desItare pe care si-o ngduia n poIida
scrupulelor de constiin.|
x direct object (translated by a Romanian 'conjunctiv
prezent): Our mentor enfoyea taking us aeep into the
unknown lana. (M.Sadoveanu-The Golden Bough,
translated by Eugenia Farca)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

79
|Mentorul nostru avea plcerea s ne clu:easc adnc n
ara necunoscut.|
x predicative (translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent: My
summer fob is guiding tourists arouna my city.
(G.Gleanu-Sinteze de gramatic englez)
|Slujba mea de var este s le ofer turistilor turul orasului/s
Iac turul orasului cu turistii.|
x prepositional object (translated either by a noun or by a
'conjunctiv prezent): Sanara can speak English quite well,
but she is not very gooa at writing it.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Sandra vorbeste engleza Ioarte bine, dar nu este Ioarte bun
la scris/nu se pricepe Ioarte bine s scrie.|
2) It may be preceded by adjectives:
Some of the books were hard reading.(A.Bdescu -
Gramatica limbii engleze)
|Unele cri se citeau greu/erau greu ae citit.|
3) It may be preceded by a possessive adjective or by a noun in
the genitive case :
If that were true, Celia, my giving up woula be self-
inaulgence, not self-mortification.(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|Dac ar Ii adevrat, Celia, renunarea mea ar nsemna
c sunt prea indulgent cu propria-mi persoan si nu un
sacriIiciu de sine.|
He aoesnt approve of his daughter`s marrying like
that.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 80
|Nu e de acord ca Iiica sa s se mrite astIel/cu o astIel
de cstorie a Iiicei sale.|
ReIerring to the syntactic Iunctions oI the gerund L.
Levichi (7) says that it would be better to speak about a subject
or part oI a subject, a direct object or part oI a direct object, a
predicative or part oI a predicative, a prepositional object or part
oI a prepositional object since these -ing Iorms do not always
discharge the respective syntactic Iunctions by themselves.
Thus, iI in the Iirst example the -ing Iorm riding
Iunctions as subject by itselI, in case it had been expanded by a
direct object or an adverbial, it would have been part oI a
subject. II one adds the word horses, Ior example, the subject oI
the sentence is no longer riding but riding horses.
The verbal character oI the gerund can be seen Irom the
Iollowing:
4) It may be combined with adverbial members:
Our chance of ever knowing the truth is very
slight.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Sansa noastr de a cunoate vreodat adevrul este
Ioarte slab.|
5) It may have an object or a predicative :
Her being young was an asset .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Faptul c era tanr era/constituia un avantaj.|
6) It may have a subject :







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

81
He hatea the iaea of the house being sold
.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Nu suporta ideea/Ura ideea ae a vinae casa.|
7) It may have diIIerent Iorms Ior the perIect gerund, active and
passive voice:
I aont mina her seeing me.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Nu m supr c m veae/c m-a v:ut/c m va
veaea.|
I aont mina her having seen me.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Nu m supr c m-a v:ut.|
I aont mina being seen by her.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Nu m supr s fiu v:ut/s fi fost v:ut de ea.|
I aont mina having been seen by her.(A.Bdescu-
op.cit.)
|Nu m supr c am fost v:ut de ea.|
It Iollows Irom the above that the gerund can be used as:
8) subject oI a sentence having a noun or a Romanian
'conjunctiv prezent as an equivalent:
Illustrating the vanishing o:one shiela requirea the
efforts of two photographers, a aigital imaging expert ana an art
airector who blenaea their work into a compelling aesign
.(Time-February 17 , 1992)
|Reaarea/Repre:entarea stratului de ozon pe cale de
dispariie a necesitat eIorturile susinute a doi IotograIi, un








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 82
expert n imagine digital si un director artistic care si-au
compilat ndemnarea ntr-un desen Ioarte interesant.|
The gerund can be the object oI a sentence placed aIter:
believe, consider, discover, expect, find, think, wonder etc.
He founa parking aifficult .(Thomson & Martinet-
op.cit.)
|Parcatul i s-a prut o problem/ greu de realizat./ I s-a
prut greu s parche:i.|
Either the inIinitive or the gerund can be the subject oI a
sentence when an action is being considered in a general sense a
case in which the inIinitive will be translated by a 'conjunctiv
prezent denoting a time-point action whereas the gerund will be
translated by a noun expressing the general meaning denoted by
the English gerund.
It is easier to read French than to speak it .(T & M-
op.cit.)
|E mai usor s citeti n Irancez dect s o vorbesti.|
Reading French is easier than speaking it .(T & M-
op.cit.)
|Cititul n Irancez e mai usor dect vorbitul.|
R.Quirk draws one`s attention to the Iact that unlike
subject that-clauses and to-infinitive clauses, subject -ing
clauses are not normally extraposed. The superordinate clause
can be interrogative or passive without the extraposition:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

83
Will our saving energy reauce the buaget
aeficit?(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|Va reduce deIicitul bugetar faptul c economisim
energie?|
Postponing the proposea legislation is being consiaerea
by the subcommittee. (R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|Amanarea legislaiei propuse este la ora actual luat in
consiaerare/este pus in aiscuie/ se ia in consiaerare de ctre o
subcomisie.|
An -ing clause may be the subject oI a bare existential
clause, in which case it normally appears in nonassertive
contexts. The construction is however anomalous in Quirk`s
opinion because the -ing Iorm is preceded by a determiner,
generally no but less commonly any:
Theres no mistaking that voice .(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|One could not mistake that voice |
|Nu se poate s nu recunoti vocea aceea.|
There was no lighting fireworks that aay .(R.Quirk-
op.cit.)
|One could not light Iireworks that day |
|Nu era nici/Nu era voie un foc ae artificii n ziua aceea.|
The gerund is also used in short prohibitions :
No smoking . No parking . No arinking.
|Fumatul interzis.| |Parcatul interzis.| |Consumul buturilor
alcoolice (strict) interzis.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 84
9) aIter prepositions: when a verb is placed immediately aIter a
preposition , the gerund must be used having an inIinitive or a
'conjunctiv prezent or a 'gerunziu as Romanian
correspondents:
What can you ao besides typing ?(T & M-op.cit.)
|Ce altceva stii s Iaci n aIar ae a bate la main?|
I got tirea oI listening to the raaio, so I went to
bea.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|M-am sturat/plictisit s ascult radioul, asa c m-am dus
la culcare/ m-am culcat.|
All the while her thought was trying to fustify her aelight
in the colours by merging them in her mystic religious
foy.(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|n tot acest timp ncerca s-si justiIice ncntarea
pricinuit de culori, iaentificana-o cu mistica sa bucurie
religioas.|
Ana laugh
An enaless laugh
At seeing everyboays iaol wreckea. (O.Goga-A
Rhapsody, translated by L.Levichi).
|Si-as rde
Prelung,
J:ana zdrobit odorul tuturora.|
J. Eastwood (8) gives a complete list oI the prepositions
Iollowed by a gerund: after, against, as a result of, as well as,







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

85
because of, before, besides, by, by means of, despite, for, how
about, in, in addition to, in favour of, in spite of, instead of,
on, on account of, since, through, what about, with, without.
The only exceptions to the gerund rule are the words
except and but which take the bare inIinitive:
I coula ao nothing except agree .(T & M-op.cit.)
|N-am putut Iace altceva dect s accept.|
He aia nothing but complain .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu Icea altceva dect s se plang.{
The gerund is also used aIter a number oI phrasal verbs
which are in Iact verb preposition / adverb combinations: to
be for / against, to care for, to give up, to keep on to leave
off, to look forward to, to put off, to see about, to take to, to
go on (intr.), to go on with, to succeed in, to depend on.
I aont care for standing in queues .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu-mi place s stau la coad.|
Ive always areamt of climbing the Piatra
Mare.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|ntotdeauna am visat s excalaae: / la escalaaarea
masivul(ui) Piatra Mare.|
He took to ringing us up in the miaale of the night.(T &
M-op.cit.)
|S-a obisnuit s ne sune/aea telefon n mijlocul nopii.|
Eventually the aogs left off barking .(T & M-op.cit.)
|n cele din urm cinii au ncetat s mai latre.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 86
10) aIter a number oI verbs: abhor, admit, advise, appreciate,
avoid, bear, begin, cease, consider, continue, decline, defer,
delay, deny, detest, dislike, discontinue, dread, endure,
enjoy, escape, excuse, fancy, finish, forbear, forget, forgive,
have done, cannot help, intend, involve, keep (on), like,
love, loathe, mind, miss, pardon, neglect, need, omit,
postpone, practise, prevent, propose, recollect, regret,
remember, resent, resist, risk, save (smb. the trouble of),
start, stop, suggest, try, understand, want(need).
Alice forgot phoning her frienas until late in the
evening.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Alice nu si-a adus aminte s le telefone:e/s-i sune
prietenilor/ pe prietenii ei pn seara trziu.|
The little girl aiant want to cry , but she coulant help
crying .(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Fetia nu voia s plng, dar nu se putea abine s nu
plang.|
I aislike waking up early on Sunaay.( G.Gleanu-
op.cit.)
|Nu-mi place s m tre:esc devreme duminica.|
There are a number oI verbs which can be Iollowed both
by a gerund and by that-clauses: admit, anticipate, consider,
deny, fancy, imagine, mean(involve), propose, recollect,
remember, suggest, understand .
I remember his telling me about it .(T & M-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

87
|I remember that he told me about it |
|mi amintesc c mi-a spus ceva de asta.|
I propose / suggest your selling it .(T & M-op.cit.)
|I suggest that you should sell it |
|i sugerez s-l/ s-o vinzi.|
The verbs care, like, love, hate, prefer are to be used in
the Iollowing way:
a) when used in the conditional, these verbs are usually
Iollowed by the inIinitive translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
Woula you like to come with me ?(T & M-op.cit.)
|Ai vrea/i-ar plcea s vii cu mine?|
Ia hate to spend Christmas alone .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Mi-ar displcea Ioarte tare/ Nu mi-ar place deloc s
petrec Crciunul singur. |
Ia love to go to the mountains .(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
b) the expressions would care for and would like can be
Iollowed by gerunds when one is not thinking oI a particular
action but is considering the subject`s tastes generally. In such a
case the gerund Iorm is translated either by a 'conjunctiv
prezent or by a noun:
She woula like riding if she coula riae better.(T & M-
op.cit.)
|I-ar plcea clria/s clreasc dac ar sti s
clreasc mai bine.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 88
It is to be noted that in such a case the translation into
Romanian oI the ing Iorm riaing by a noun is more indicated
than the one consisting oI a 'conjunctiv prezent verbal Iorm
since the latter would also represent the only possible translation
oI the English short inIinitive Iorm riae causing thus repetition
oI the same structure within a very short sentence.
When used in the present or past tense, on the other
hand, care for, like, love, hate and prefer are usually Iollowed
by the gerund.
The verbs enjoy and dislike are always Iollowed by
noun / pronoun or gerund:
I always enfoy walking in the park .(G.Gleanu-
op.cit.)
|mi place ntotdeauna s m plimb/ plimbatul in parc.|
The gerund is also used aIter: busy, like, near,
worth(while), that is, there is, there is little, there is much,
there is no, it`s no use / good, it is useless, what / how about,
can`t stand, can`t help.
They are busy experimenting the new
methoas.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Sunt ocupai cu experimentarea/s experimente:e
noilor/noile metode.|
I aont feel like going out tonight .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|N-am cheI s ies din cas ast sear.|
Its no gooa / use arguing .(T & M-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

89
|N-are nici un rost s te ceri/ s v certai.|
With need, require, want and the adjective worth, the
complement is always in the active voice, even though the
content may be passive:
He requires looking after .(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Necesit ingrifire/Are nevoie s fie ingrifit/s i se
poarte ae grif.|
This is worth doing .(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Se merit s faci asta.|
I began a long while ago to collect aocuments. They
want arranging, but when a question has struck me, I have
written to someboay ana got an answer.(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|Am nceput cu muli ani n urm s colecionez
documente. Am nevoie s fie ranauite, iar cnd m nedumereste
vreo chestiune, scriu cuiva si capt un rspuns.|
With most traditional grammarians, the gerund has the
Iollowing syntactic Iunctions:
1) subject or part oI a subject :
Hiking is his best relaxation .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Excursiile pe fos sunt pentru el cea mai bun recreere.|
Predicting the weather is, in the best of circumstances, a
game of chance.(Time-1une 15 , 1992)
|Pre:icerea vremii este, n cel mai bun caz, un joc de
noroc.|
2) predicative:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 90
Her greatest pleasure is going to concerts.(A.Bdescu-
op.cit.)
|Cea mai mare plcere a ei este s se auc la concerte.|
Her hobby is painting .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Hobby-ul lui este pictura.|
3) a direct object:
Trying to spur agreement, the European Committee
proposea cutting CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year
2000.(Time-1une 1 , 1992)
|ncercnd s ajung la o nelegere, Comitetul European
a propus reaucerea emisiunilor de dioxid de carbon la nivelul
anului 1990 abia n anul 2000.|
R.Quirk comments upon the two possible interpretations
oI the implied subject oI an -ing Iorm which discharges the
syntactic Iunction oI a direct object. Thus, the sentence:
I hate lying - may mean according to him:
x I hate it when I lie .- linking the action speciIically to the
subject oI the superordinate clause , or:
x I hate it when people lie .- generalizing.
The distinction between them in point oI translation can
be made iI we translate the ing Iorm lying by a Romanian
'conjunctiv prezent or 'indicativ prezent (Nu-mi place s
mint/cana mint) Ior the Iirst meaning indicated by Quirk, and by
a noun (Nu-mi place minciuna) which allows one to deduce the
evetual generalizing meaning.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

91
When the -ing construction contains a direct object or an
adverbial and is thereIore clausal, the usual interpretation is that
there is an implicit link to the superordinate subject. Thus, the
sentence : I hate telling lies (Nu suport s spun minciuni/s
mint)-means I hate it when I tell lies.
Quirk speciIies, however, that this restriction does not
apply aIter verbs oI speaking, where the generic interpretation
holds:
They recommena not paying taxes .(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|They recommended that people not pay taxes |
|Au recomandat/Au sugerat neplata taxelor/s nu se
plteasc taxele.|
4) an indirect object:
Do you feel like going anywhere for the
weekena?(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|i-ar plcea/Ai cheI s mergi undeva la sIrsit de
sptmn?|
5) an attribute:
In explaining this to Dorothea , Mr. Casaubon expressea
himself nearly as he woula have aone to a fellow stuaent , for he
haa not two styles of talking at commana.(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
Explicndu-i aceast situaie Doroteei, Dl. Casaubon se
exprima aproape la Iel cum ar Ii Icut cu un conIrate ntru studii
Iiindc nu dispunea de dou stiluri de conversaie.]
What is the use of kindling me each night ?








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 92
I only show your woes as you pass by .(O.Goga-The
Street Lamp, translated by E.Farca)
|De ce m-aprinaei Iiecare sar,
S luminez nenorocirea voastr.|
According to R.Quirk and G.Leech, the construction of +
V-ing seems to occur chieIly aIter nouns expressing extrinsic
modality, that is aIter nouns whose meanings do not primarily
involve human control oI the action itselI, but typically involve
human judgement: hope, possibility, prospect, risk, aim,
necessity, impossibility, intention, responsibility.
The construction with of + V-ing is especially
convenient when no expressed subject is present or implicit :
The freeaom of holding an opinion ana expressing it is a
human right. (R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|Libertatea ae a avea o opinie/prere si de a o exprima
liber este unul din drepturile omului.|
6) an adverbial modiIier aIter a preposition :
x adverbial modiIier oI manner: We went in without ringing
the front-aoor bell. (A. Bdescu op. cit.)
|Am intrat Ir a suna la usa de la intrare.|
x adverbial modiIier oI time: He woula then imbibe a couple
of glasses of wine after piously pouring out the arops aue to
the aeaa . (M.Sadoveanu-op.cit.)
|Atunci era n stare s absoarb pn la dou pahare de vin,
dup ce vrsa cu religiozitate picturile pentru mori.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

93
Adverbial -ing clauses oI time are introduced by one oI
the Iollowing prepositions: after, before, on, since :
After taking such an unpopular step , he might have
trouble even appearing in public .(Time-1une 22 , 1992)
|Dup ce a fcut un pas att de nepopular, s-ar putea s
nu mai poat nici mcar aprea n public.|
They washea their hanas before eating .(R.Quirk-
op.cit.)
|Ei s-au splat pe mini inainte ae a manca.|
On becoming a member you will receive a membership
cara ana a baage .(Time-February 3 , 1992)
|In clipa/Atunci cana aevii membru vei primi o
legitimaie de membru si o insign. |
x adverbial modiIier oI cause: We coulant say a wora for
laughing .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Nu puteam scoate o vorb ae tare ce raaeam.|
x adverbial modiIier oI concession: For all your sleeping so
baaly, you are always active.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Dei aormi asa de prost, esti ntotdeauna activ.|
x adverbial modiIier oI purpose: The exercise was given for
being written .(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Exerciiul a Iost dat pentru a fi scris.|
A comprehensive study oI the gerund Iorm oI a verb
should also take into consideration the use oI a possessive
adjective or pronoun beIore the gerund . Traditional








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 94
grammarians have agreed upon a general rule according to
which iI a verb or verb preposition is Iollowed directly by the
gerund , the subject oI the Iinite verb is also the subject oI the
gerund .Thus, in the sentence:
For as we came nakea into the worla so we shoula also
be nakea on leaving it.(M.Sadoveanu-op.cit.) translatable by
Cci/ aeoarece intrm goi in lume, tot asemenea trebuie s
ieyim.- the subject oI the Iinite verb is also the subject oI the
gerund Iorm, a reason Ior which the use oI a possessive
adjective/ pronoun beIore the gerund must be avoided .
II the subject diIIers Irom that oI the Iinite verb, the
conceptual subject oI the gerund may be expressed either by a
noun in the genitive case (or a possessive pronoun) or by an
uninIlected noun (or a personal pronoun) in the accusative case .
He remembers his mother's / her coming to his
room.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Isi aminteste venirea mamei sale / ei n camera lui.|
He remembers his mother / her coming to his
room.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Si-o aminteste pe mama sa / pe ea venina n camera lui.|
Schibsbye makes a detailed analysis oI the Iactors which
determine the usage on this point:
a) whether the subject oI the gerund can be given a genitive
Iorm.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

95
Thus, in: I cant imagine that being
interesting.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.) translated by Nu pot s-mi
imagine: asta (ca) fiina interesant and No one opposea my
plans being carried out.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.) translated by
Nimeni nu s-a opus ca planurile mele s fie ause la inaeplinire-
the demonstrative pronoun that and the neuter noun plans
cannot be used in the genitive case.
b) the syntactic Iunction oI the gerund phrase: iI the phrase is a
subject or predicative, expressions using the genitive or a
possessive pronoun are usual:
Your brother's being late aoes not bother
me.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Faptul c fratele tu intar:ie nu m deranjeaz.|
It was his being so rude that maae me believe that
something was wrong with him.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Atituainea lui atat ae nepoliticoas m-a Icut s cred c
ceva era n neregul cu el.|
c) the emphasis: iI the subject oI the gerund carries the main
stress oI the gerund phrase, the genitive or possessive pronoun is
not used:
The possibility of you having a gooa fob gives me
hope.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Posibilitatea ca tu s ai/Posibilitatea ta de a avea o
slujba bun mi d sperane.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 96
There is aanger of you being dismissed as well as
me.(K.Schibsbye-op.cit.)
|Suntem n pericol ca si tu si eu s Iim concediai.|
ReIerring to the same matter oI the use or nonuse oI a
genitive Iorm oI a noun or oI a possessive pronoun beIore the
gerund, A.Bdescu notices that in contemporary English there is
a constant tendency oI the nouns to preserve their common Iorm
beIore a gerund, even when these nouns can be used in the
genitive case. Thus, a sentence oI the type: I aont unaerstana
your colleague opposing the proposals of his co-workers.
(A.Bdescu-op.cit.) translated by Nu ineleg opoziia colegului
tu la propunerile fcute ae colegii si.- is more Irequently
encountered in contemporary English than :
I aont unaerstana your colleagues opposing the
proposals of his co-workers .
In point oI translation it is to be noted that in Romanian
one cannot diIIerentiate throughout translation between the
genitive preceded gerund and the accusative preceded gerund,
that is between a gerund and a present participle.
The respective -ing Iorm Irom this type oI sentence is
called halI-gerund or Iused participle as it resembles the
possessive adjective / pronoun gerund construction, being in
Iact a present participle Iorm.
There are however a number oI verbs and expressions
which can take either construction: dislike, dread, fancy,







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

97
involve, like, (negative), mean, mind, propose, recollect,
remember, resent, save, stop, suggest, understand, approve /
disapprove of, insist on, it`s no good / use, object to, there`s
no point in, what`s the point of .
He aislikea working late .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu-i plcea s lucreze pn trziu.|
He aislikea me / my working late .
|Nu-i plcea ca eu s lucrez pn trziu.|
Thomson & Martinet (9) make a detailed analysis oI the
uses oI some oI these verbs when Iollowed by a gerund. Thus:
x the verbs excuse, forgive, pardon, prevent are not
Iollowed directly by the gerund but take either possessive
adjective or pronoun gerund or pronoun preposition
gerund :
Forgive me / my ringing you up so early .(T & M-
op.cit.)
|Scuz-m c te sun asa de devreme.|
Forgive me for ringing you up so early .
|Scuz-m c te sun asa de devreme.|
The baa weather preventea us / our going on a
picnic.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Vremea rea ne-a mpiedicat s mergem la picnic.|
The baa weather preventea us from going on a picnic.
|Vremea rea ne-a mpiedicat s mergem la picnic.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 98
x the verb appreciate usually requires a possessive adjective
or passive gerund :
I appreciate her writing to all her frienas.(G.Gleanu-
op.cit.)
|Apreciez Iaptul c ea le scrie tuturor prietenilor si.|
I appreciate being given this opportunity .(T & M-
op.cit.)
|Apreciez c mi s-a dat aceast sans/c mi s-a acordat
aceast oportunitate.|
x with the verb stop meaning prevent the pronoun is more
usual than the possessive adjective :
I cant stop him writing to the papers .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu-l pot opri s scrie la toate ziarele.|
x the verb mind is mainly used in the interrogative and
negative:
Woula you mina showing me the way to the railway
station?(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Imi putei/Suntei amabil s-mi artai drumul spre
gar?|
I aont mina walking .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu m deranjeaz s merg pe fos.|
When used in the interrogative, the verb mind expresses
a request, but when a possessive adjective precedes the gerund,
there is a change oI meaning, the idea being that oI a polite
query and not a request :







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

99
Woula you mina my moving your car ?
|Would you object iI I moved your car ?|
|Te deranjeaz/V deranjeaz c am mutat masina/dac
mut masina?|

THE PERFECT GERUND

The perIect gerund has exactly the same Iorm as the
perIect participle and it can also be used instead oI the present
Iorm oI the gerund when one is reIerring to a past action :
I wonaerea at his having the initiative .(A.Bdescu-
op.cit.)
|M-am mirat c iniiativa a fost a lui/el a luat iniiativa.|
I wonaerea at his having had the initiative .
|M-am mirat c iniiativa fusese a lui/c el luase
iniiativa.|
He was accusea of deserting his ship .(T & M-op.cit.)
|A Iost acuzat c i-a prsit/prsise vasul.|
He was accusea of having deserted his ship.
|A Iost acuzat c si prsise vasul.|
Unlike the other verbs which are mainly used with the
present Iorm oI the gerund , the verb deny is Irequently
Iollowed by a perIect gerund :
He aeniea having been there .
|A negat c a fost acolo/c ar fi fost acolo.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 100
The perIect gerund discharges the Iollowing syntactic
Iunctions :
a) direct object or prepositional object :
I remember having met him somewhere , but I aiant
know for certain where.(A.Bantay-Don`t Worry)
|Mi-am amintit c l-am mai intalnit/c-l mai intalnisem
undeva, dar nu stiam exact unde.|
Thank you for having contributed to the first issue of the
maga:ine.(L.Levichi-Gramatica limbii engleze)
|V mulumesc c ai contribuit la prima ediie a
revistei.|
b) adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI time :
Once having made a promise, you shoula keep
it.(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|Odat ce ai Icut o promisiune, trebuie s i-o ii.|
c) adverbial modiIier or part oI an adverbial modiIier oI cause :
Owing to his having staged the play, the performance
was a success. (L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Datorit Iaptului c a regizat piesa, spectacolul a Iost un
succes.|
A translation approach to the perIect gerund based on the
examples given above enables one to say that it is generally
translated by Romanian 'indicativ verbal Iorms with no other
possibilities oI translation as in the case oI the present gerund or
oI the present participle.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

101

INFINITIVE AND GERUND CONSTRUCTIONS

AIter having made a detailed study oI the inIinitive and
gerund constructions as well as oI their uses in contemporary
English, both traditional and modern grammarians have
concluded that there is a slight diIIerence in content between the
two Iorms oI expression. They all have agreed that it is best to
use the gerund oI what is general and the inIinitive oI what
concerns a particular occasion.
The most comprehensive recording oI the diIIerences in
meaning oI the verbs Iollowed by either a gerund or an inIinitive
Iorm is given by such grammarians as: Thomson & Martinet and
Graver, while a clear classiIication oI the verbs into verbs taking
either Iorm without change oI meaning and verbs taking either
Iorm but with diIIerent meanings is made by J. Eastwood.
An opposite point oI view is that oI A.Bantas,
L.Levichi, A.Bdescu and K.Schibsbye who choose only to
speciIy that some oI the verbs Iollowed by a gerund can also
take a to-inIinitive Iorm aIter them, without making a detailed
analysis oI their usage in contemporary English.
Thus, according to J. Eastwood`s classiIication verbs Iall
into:
a) verbs taking either Iorm without a change oI meaning,
having similar or rather identic translation possibilities: begin,








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 102
bother, can`t bear, cease, commence, continue, hate, intend,
like, love, prefer, propose, start.
I began working / to work . (T & M-op.cit.)
|Am nceput s lucre:/s muncesc.|
When the teacher startea talking / to talk, the chilaren
stoppea laughing.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Cnd proIesorul a nceput s vorbeasc, copiii n-au mai
rs/s-au oprit din rs.|
He continuea living / to live above the shop.(T & M-
op.cit.)
|A continuat s locuiasc/ A locuit in continuare
deasupra magazinului.|
We intena taking / to take immeaiate action.(1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Intenionm s lum imediat msuri/msuri rapide.|
x AIter can / could not bear either a gerund or an inIinitive
can be used :
I cant bear waiting / to wait.(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu-mi place / Nu suport s atept.|
When the inIinitive reIers to a deliberate action, the
expression implies that the subject`s Ieelings prevent(ed) him
Irom perIorming the action.Thus:
I coulant bear to tell him (N-a fi in stare s-i spun.) -
implies that I didn`t tell him.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

103
In the case oI the verbs oI liking and hating, J. Eastwood
notices that sometimes the gerund gives a sense oI the action
really happening (being used in the indicative mood), while the
inIinitive oIten points to a possible action and is used in the
conditional mood:
I hate doing the same thing all the time.(1. Eastwood-
op.cit.)
|Nu-mi place/Nu suport s fac acelasi lucru tot timpul.|
|It gets really boring sometimes|
Ia hate to do the same thing all the time.
|N-as suporta s Iac acelasi lucru tot timpul.
|I`m lucky my job is so interesting |
Like takes a to-inIinitive when it means that something
is a good idea, rather than a pleasure. Thus: I aiant like to
complain (Am preIerat/Nu mi-a plcut s (nu) m plng) -
implies I aiant complain because it wasnt a gooa iaea, while I
aiant like complaining (Nu mi-a plcut c m-am plns) means I
complainea, but I aiant enfoy it.
From the examples above it is to be observed that when
the action oI the ing gerund Iorm used aIter to like was not
completed it is translated by a Romanian 'conjunctiv prezent
whereas when the respective action was completed it is
translated by an 'indicativ perIect compus. One should also
mention the Iact that this distinction in meaning is valid only
when the verb in the main clause is in the past tense, Ior in the








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 104
case oI the sentences I aont like to complain and I aont like
complaining (whose main clause verbs are in the present
indicative) the only distinction possible is that between the
general character lent to the communication by the gerund as
opposed to the time-point character lent by the inIinitive.
Propose meaning intend usually takes an inIinitive
whereas propose meaning suggest takes the gerund:
I propose to start tomorrow.(T & M-op.cit.)
|Propun s incepem mine.|
I propose waiting till the police get here.(T & M-op.cit.)
|Sugere: s ateptm pn vine poliia.|
b) verbs taking either Iorm but with diIIerent meanings:
remember, forget, regret, dread, try, stop, mean, go on,
need, want, require, deserve .
x AIter the verbs remember, regret, forget, the gerund reIers
to an action or event earlier in time than that oI the main
verb and is usually translated into Romanian by an 'indicativ
perIect compus/mai mult ca perIect:
He rememberea giving her the message.(B.D.Graver-
op.cit.)
|He remembered that he had given her the message at
some earlier time |
|Si-a amintit/Si-a adus aminte c i-a transmis/c i
transmisese mesajul.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

105
I regret saying that you were mistaken.(B.D.Graver-
op.cit.)
|I regret that I said that you were mistaken|
|mi pare ru/regret c am spus c te-ai nselat|
The inIinitive aIter these verbs reIers to an action or
event occurring at the same time as that oI the main verb, or
later, and is translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
Dont forget to phone me tomorrow .(B.D.Graver-
op.cit.)
|I trust you will call to mind what is to be done , and then
do it|
|Nu uita s m suni/s-mi telefone:i mine.|
I regret to say that you were mistaken.(B.D.Graver-
op.cit.)
|mi pare ru/regret s-i spun c te-ai nselat.|
|I am sorry that I must now tell you that you were
mistaken|
x Go on meaning continue is normally Iollowed by a gerund
translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
He went on talking about his acciaent.(T & M-op.cit.)
|He had been talking about it beIore|
|A continuat s vorbeasc despre accident.|
It is used with an inIinitive (usually oI a verb like
explain, talk, tell) when the speaker continues talking about the
same topic, but introduces a new aspect oI it:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 106
He went on to talk about his acciaent.
|A continuat prin a vorbi despre accident/A vorbit in
continuare/apoi despre accident. |
|He had been talking perhaps about himselI or his
journey, but the accident was being introduced Ior the Iirst time|
From the above it is to be seen that the Romanian
translation should contain something (either the preposition prin
or the adverb apoi) to express the action oI the inIinitive as
being a new one as compared to the other actions described until
then.
Stop is usually Iollowed by a gerund or by object
gerund which are translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
Stop laughing .(T & M-op.cit.)
|nceteaz s mai ra:i. / Nu mai rde.|
I cant stop him talking to the press .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Nu-l pot mpiedica s vorbeasc cu presa.|
x Stop meaning halt can be Iollowed by an inIinitive oI
purpose being similarly translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
I stoppea to ask for help .(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|M-am oprit s cer ajutor. |
x Mean meaning intend takes the inIinitive which is
translated by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
Im sorry . I aiant mean to step on your foot.(1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|mi pare ru. N-am intenionat/vrut s te calc pe picior.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

107
x Mean meaning involve takes the gerund and is used only
with an impersonal subject:
I have to be at the airport by nine. It means getting up
early.(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Trebuie s Iiu la aeroport la ora 9. Asta presupune/Asta
nseamn c trebuie s m scol devreme.|
x Try meaning attempt is Iollowed by the inIinitive:
Im trying to light a fire, but this wooa wont burn.(1.
Eastwood-op.cit.)
|ncerc s aprina Iocul, dar lemnul acesta nu vrea s
ard.|
x Try meaning make the experiment, do something which
might solve the problem is Iollowed by the gerund:
They triea putting wire netting all rouna the garaen .(T
& M-op.cit.)
|Au ncercat s pun srm de jur mprejurul grdinii.|
x Need, require, want, deserve can be Iollowed either by the
gerund or by the passive inIinitive, the gerund having a
passive meaning and being the more usual.Their translation
into Romanian is represented by a 'conjunctiv prezent as a
correspondent oI the English inIinitive and by a 'participiu
trecut as part oI the Romanian 'trebuie participiu trecut
passive meaning pattern:
We neea to leave at eight.(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Trebuie s plecm la ora 8.|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 108
This grass neeas cutting / to be cut .(T & M-op.cit.)
|Iarba trebuie tuns./ Trebuie s tunaem iarba. |
The typewriter neeas cleaning .(1. Eastwood-op.cit.)
|Masina de scris trebuie curat/Trebuie s curm
maina.|
Thomson & Martinet make also a study oI the usage oI
either inIinitive or gerund aIter be afraid of, be sorry for, be
ashamed of.
x be afraid of + gerund usually expresses an action which
the subject Iears may happen. It is normally an involuntary
action:
She avoias lonely streets. She is afraia of being mugged
.(T & M-op.cit.)
|Ea evit de obicei strzile pustii. i e Iric s nu fie
fefuit.|
x be afraid of + an inIinitive implies that the subject is too
Irightened to perIorm the action:
He was afraia to jump .(T & M-op.cit.)
|He didn`t jump|
|Lui i-a Iost Iric s sar.|
x be sorry for + a gerund means apologize / regret:
Im sorry for disappointing you .(T & M-op.cit)
|mi pare ru/regret/mi cer scuze c te-am ae:amgit.|
x be sorry + an inIinitive can express regret or sadness:
Im sorry to tell you the baa news.(T & M-op.cit.)







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

109
|Regret/mi pare ru s-i dau vesti rele/s-i spun vestile
cele rele.|
x be ashamed of when Iollowed by a gerund, the latter
reIers to a previous action being translated by an 'indicativ
perIect compus:
You shoula be ashamea of making such a noise at night.
(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Ar trebui s-i Iie rusine/ S-i Iie rusine c ai fcut att
zgomot asear.|
x When be ashamed is Iollowed by an inIinitive, the
inIinitive usually reIers to a subsequent action and is
translatable by a 'conjunctiv prezent:
Im ashamea to tell you what this carpet cost.(T & M-
op.cit.)
|Mi-e rusine/Mi-e jen s-i spun ct a costat covorul
acesta.|
x would be ashamed + an inIinitive oIten implies that the
subject`s Ieelings will prevent him Irom perIorming the
action:
Ia be ashamea to ask you such a question
.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Mi-ar Ii rusine/jen s-i pun o asemenea ntrebare.|
Tania Dutescu-Coliban (8) makes a study oI the so-
called catenatives, that is verbs whose next lower verb is








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 110
nonIinite, and mentions on this occasion Huddleston`s
classiIication oI these verbs into several groups:
a) verbs which require that the event expressed by the next
verb be posterior to the event they express: advise, ask, be
going, hope, intend, order, promise, want, warn.
b) verbs which require that the event expressed by the next
verb be simultaneous to the event they express: begin, cease,
continue, keep, start, stop, enjoy, catch, find +V-ing ;see,
hear, watch etc.; come|to realize that|; tend, help, have
(something done), remember + to .
c) verbs which require that the event expressed by the next
verb be anterior to the event they express : forget / remember +
V-ing.
ReIerring to the same catenatives, R.Quirk notes that
with certain main verbs which imply anterior time in their
complementation, such as: admit, remember, regret, there is
no contrast oI meaning between complementation by a
perIective and by a non-perIective -ing clause being translated
into Romanian by perIect compus` or mai mult ca perIect`
verbal Iorms.
We aamittea / rememberea / regrettea leaving
early.(R.Quirk-op.cit.)
|Am recunoscut/ne-am amintit/am regretat c am
plecat/plecasem devreme.|
We aamittea / rememberea / regrettea having left early .







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

111
|Am recunoscut/ne-am amintit/am regretat c am
plecat/plecasem devreme.|

NOTES

1. Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., Svartnik, 1.,
op.cit., pp. 153-154, 998-999, 1325-1326 .
2. Leech, G., op.cit., pp. 209-214.
3. Ilyish, B., 1he Structure of Modern English, Leningrad,
1963, pp. 135-137.
5. Bdescu, A., op.cit., pp. 338-343.
6. Schibsbye, K., op.cit., pp. 57-64.
7. Bantay, A., op.cit., pp. 74-76.
8. Levichi, L., Cramatica limbii engleze, Editura Teora,
Bucuresti, 1994, pp. 96-100.
9. Eastwood, 1., op. cit., pp. 159-174.
10. Thomson, A.1., Martinet, A.V., op.cit., pp. 228-238.
11. Graver, B.D., op.cit., pp. 139-141, 152-154, 161-167.
12. Huddleston, R., in Duescu-Coliban, T., Crammatical
Categories of English, TipograIia Universitii din
Bucuresti, 1983, pp. 344.











ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 112
THE VERBAL AD1ECTIVE AND ITS ROMANIAN
EQUIVALENTS

The verbal adjective also called participial adjective or -
ing adjective has the characteristics oI an adjective and is not a
verbal Iorm.
A.Bdescu (1), A.Bantas (2), L.Levichi (3), W.Collins
(4), R.Quirk (5) as well as J. Eastwood (6) make a more or less
detailed study oI verbal adjectives, pointing out their Iull
adjectival status which they prove by the Iact that -ing
adjectives may have degrees oI comparison (a very
interesting person), may be preceded by adverbs oI degree
such as: very, quite, rather, too, as , etc.( a rather boring
man ) and may discharge the syntactical Iunctions oI attribute
and predicative. None oI the Romanian linguists, Ior example,
draws one`s attention to their translation into Romanian by an
adjective which might be in our opinion an argument in Iavour
oI the theory according to which one cannot call a verbal
adjective a present participle since its adjectival Ieatures are
stronger in this case.
R.Quirk also reIers to the Iact that there are also cases
when the diIIerence between a verbal adjective or participial
adjective as he calls it and a homonymous present participle
Iorm is not clear-cut. According to him, the verbal Iorce oI the
participle is explicit Ior the -ing Iorm when a direct object is







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

113
present while the premodiIication by the intensiIier very, Ior
example, is an explicit indication that the respective -ing Iorm
has achieved adjective status. Thus, in the sentences:
His views were alarming her auaience (Prerile ei
alarmau publicul) and
You are frightening the chilaren (Sperii copiii)- the
presence oI the direct objects her audience and the children
leaves no room Ior the interpretation oI the two -ing Iorms
alarming and frightening as participial adjectives which
means that they are present participle Iorms helping the
Iormation oI the past continuous tense and oI the present
continuous tense, while in the sentences:
Her views were very alarming (Prerile ei erau Ioarte
alarmante) and
You are very frightening (Esti Ioarte infricotor), the
premodiIier very indicates that the only interpretation possible
Ior the two -ing Iorms is that oI participial adjectives
discharging the syntactic Iunction oI predicatives within the
nominal predicates were very alarming and are very
frightening.
A translation approach to the above pairs oI sentences
proves that the distinction between them Irom this viewpoint
is clear cut since in the Iirst pair oI sentences the ing Iorms
mentioned (alarming, frightening) are to be translated by
Romanian 'imperIect and 'prezent indicative mood Iorms








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 114
whereas in the second pair oI sentences they Iind adjectival
equivalents in the Romanian adjectives alarmante and
infricotor.
A.Bantas points out that, since both -ing nouns and -ing
adjectives can be used attributively beIore a noun, they can
very easily be mistaken Ior one another. According to him, the
best way to establish whether an -ing Iorm is a verbal
adjective or a verbal noun is to check whether the respective -
ing attribute anteposed to the noun derives Irom a postposed
one with a preposition, a case in which the -ing Iorm is a
verbal noun.
Thus, in the examples: measuring instruments
(instrumente de msurat) and fencing lessons (lecii de
scrim), the two -ing Iorms derive Irom instruments for
measuring and lessons in fencing which means that they are
verbal nouns.
II, on the other hand, such -ing Iorms do not Iit the
pattern noun + preposition + noun, and express a quality oI
the noun, it means that they are verbal adjectives such as in:
the coming year (anul urmtor), the falling star (steaua
cztoare), a working man (un om muncitor) etc .
Thomson & Martinet, B. Ilyish as well as K.Schibsbye
do not talk about a verbal adjective and consider that an -ing
Iorm can act as either a present participle or a gerund.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

115
W.Collins makes a detailed classiIication oI -ing
adjectives taking into consideration several criteria:
x whether they describe an eIIect (a case in which they are
called qualitative adjectives) or a process or state (in
which case they are called classifying adjectives) ;
x whether they are related or not to a common transitive /
intransitive use oI a verb;
x whether they are derived.
Thus, according to him, verbal adjectives Iall into several
categories:
a) qualitative adjectives - which are -ing adjectives
describing the eIIect that something has on one`s Ieelings and
ideas, or on the Ieelings and ideas oI people in general.
The -ing adjectives belonging to this category have a
related transitive verb which one uses to describe the way
someone is aIIected by something and are similar in meaning
to the usual meaning oI the related verb. Thus, iI somebody
speaks oI an alarming increase, he means that the increase
alarms him.
W.Collins gives a comprehensive list oI the qualitative
adjectives used in contemporary English: alarming
(alarmant), amazing (uluitor, uimitor, surprinztor), amusing
(distractiv, amuzant), annoying (plictisitor, suprtor),
appalling (nspimnttor, ngrozitor), astonishing (uimitor,
surprinztor), astounding (uluitor, izbitor, extraordinar),








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 116
bewildering (tulburtor, uimitor), boring (sIredelitor;
plictisitor), challenging (provocator), charming (minunat,
Iermector, ncnttor), compelling (Iorat, constrngtor,
care Ioreaz), confusing (conIuz, care te zpceste),
convincing (convingtor), depressing (deprimant, apstor),
devastating (devastator), disappointing (dezamgitor, care
dezamgeste), disgusting (dezgusttor), disturbing
(tulburtor, care tulbur), embarrassing (stnjenitor, jenant),
encouraging (ncurajator), entertaining (distractiv,
amuzant), exciting (tulburtor, excitant), frightening
(nIricostor), harassing (obositor, istovitor, tracasant),
inspiring (inspirator, insuIltor, nsuIleitor), interesting
(interesant), misleading (nseltor), mocking (batjocoritor),
overwhelming (covrsitor, coplesitor), pleasing (plcut,
atrgtor), refreshing (nviortor, odihnitor), relaxing (care
relaxeaz/odihneste), rewarding (rspltitor, meritat),
satisfying (satisIctor), shocking (emoionant, socant,
zguduitor, nspimnttor), surprising (surprinztor),
tempting (tentant), terrifying (nspimnttor, nIricostor),
threatening (amenintor), thrilling (palpitant, incitant),
tiring (extenuant, istovitor), welcoming (binevenit, de bun
sosit/de bun venit), worrying (ngrijortor).
From the above it is to be noted that the adjectives
belonging to this category have in most cases adjectival







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

117
equivalents into Romanian, proving once again their strictly
adjectival grammatical status.
Jenturini haa actually built a house illustrating his
alarming, thrilling iaeas in a suburb of Philaaelphia.(Time -
February 17 , 1992)
|Venturini chiar construise o cas la periIeria orasului
Philadelphia care ilustra/ etala ideile sale alarmante si
revoluionare. |
There is nothing very surprising in this.(Collins -
English Grammar)
|Nu e nimic Ioarte surprin:tor n asta.|
The syntactic Iunctions that such a qualitative adjective
discharges are those oI attribute and oI predicative:
attribute: They can still show amazing loyalty to their
parents.(Collins-op.cit.)
|Le pot arta nc prinilor lor o loialitate uimitoare. |
predicative: Its amazing what they can ao . (Collins -
op.cit.)
Este uimitor ce pot Iace.]
There are also a number oI qualitative adjectives which
are related to an uncommon transitive use oI a verb:
becoming (potrivit, care avantajeaz), bracing (ntritor,
nviortor, ntremtor), cutting (ascuit, tios), dashing
(elegant, artos; ndrzne, cuteztor), disarming
(dezarmant), engaging (Iermector, ncnttor), fetching








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 118
(atrgtor, seductor, captivant), haunting (care vine des/care
bntuie, obsedant), moving (misctor, mobil), penetrating
(ptrunztor; perspicace), piercing (ascuit, ptrunztor,
piigiat), pressing (care preseaz, presant), promising (care
promite, promitor), rambling (rtcitor, vagabond),
ravishing (ncnttor, Iermector, captivant), retiring (retras,
rezervat, puin comunicativ), revolting (revolttor),
searching (curios, investigator, scrupulos, atent, sistematic),
trying (diIicil, greu, chinuitor).
North ana South will meet in Rio to confront the planets
most pressing ills.(Time-1une 1, 1992)
|Nordul si Sudul se vor ntlni la Rio s discute
problemele cele mai presante/urgente ale planetei.|
He haa travellea in his younger years , ana was hela in
this part of the country to have contractea a too rambling
habit of mina.(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|n tineree cltorise mult, dar acum, n colul acela de
comitat, era considerat un om a crui minte a cam inceput s-o
ia ra:na.|
A translation variant to E.B. Marian`s translating the
verbal adjective rambling by a relative clause is the
Romanian adjective rtcitor (cu o minte rtcitoare) which
would better suit our theory according to which verbal
adjectives belonging to this category are generally translated
by their adjective-expressed Romanian equivalents. It is to be







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

119
noted, however, that in the original version the Romanian
syntagm a crui minte a cam inceput s-o ia ra:na is
stylistically stronger than the adjective noun construction
minte rtcitoare. The English version rambling habit of
mind is thus an almost perIect semantic equivalent oI the
original but not a stylistic equivalent as well. A better solution
in point might have been the use oI the English phrase to
run/rush over stock ana block/over heage ana aitch (whose
mind had begun to run over stock and block) which would
have given the translation the same 'colourIulness speciIic
to the colloquial speech which characterizes the original.
W.Collins illustrates this uncommon transitive use oI a
verb by the sentences:
She kept dashing out of the kitchen to give him a kiss (A
ieit repeae din buctrie s-l srute)- in which the verb dash
means move quickly whereas in:
I usea to be tola I lookea quite dashing (Mi se spunea pe
vremuri c sunt Ioarte atrgtoare/c am o nIisare stilat)
- the adjective dashing means stylish, attractive.
a) classifying adjectives - which are the -ing adjectives used to
describe a process or state that continues over a period oI
time: ageing (maturizant, mbtrnitor), ailing (suIerind,
bolnav), bleeding (sngernd, care sngereaz), booming
(bzitor, huruitor; rsuntor, extraordinar), bursting
(exploziv, de explozie), decreasing (care reduce,








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 120
micsoreaz), diminishing (care se micsoreaz, care
descreste/scade), dying (muribund, pe moarte), existing
(care exist, actual, prezent), increasing (cresctor, care
sporeste), living (viu, n via), prevailing (predominant,
care predomin), recurring (repetat, recurent), reigning
(care e la putere, care conduce, conductor ), remaining
(care rmne), resounding (rsuntor), rising (care se nal,
care se ridic), ruling (dominant, conductor).
The adjectives belonging to this category also Iind
adjectival correspondents into Romanian.
More substantive fears center on the aanger that Chinas
aavisory group will grow into a power center to rival the
existing government.(Time - March 16, 1992)
|Temeri din ce n ce mai concrete au la baz pericolul c
grupul de consiliere al Chinei se va transIorma ntr-o putere
reprezentativ pentru a rivaliza guvernul actual.|
The adjectives used to identiIy a process can be
submodiIied by adverbs which describe the speed with which
the process happens:
Justice ana obfectivity in fuaging competitive sports
performances aemana ever-increasing precision. (Time -
February 3 , 1992)
|Justiia si obiectivitatea necesare pentru a judeca
perIormanele din sporturile competitive necesit o precizie ain
ce in ce mai mare.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

121
These -ing adjectives have related intransitive verbs and
have a similar meaning to the usual meaning oI the related verb.
Unlike qualitative adjectives, classiIying adjectives are
only used attributively:
Ana I have come to pri:e ana to love the living structures
of the ancient religion of this lana.(M. Sadoveanu -The Golden
Bough , translated by E.Farca)
|Am ajuns s preuiesc si s iubesc aceste alctuiri vii ale
religiei vechi a pmntului acestuia.|
You magnify Him with bells ringing
Ana loua-resounding chimes of cymbals . (O.Goga-In
The Forest, translated by L.Levichi)
|Tu-l prznuiesti cu glas de clopot
Si cu rsunet de chimvale.|
It is to be noted that the rule according to which English
verbal adjectives are translated by Romanian adjectives is
sometimes broken since in the above example the English verbal
adjectivecontaining syntagm loud-resounding chimes
represents the translation oI the Romanian noun rsunet and not
oI an adjective. Trying to give a perIect syntactic equivalent to
the Romanian noun rsunet by the English sound or even echo
proves however a translation Iailure since the above mentioned
nouns do not have in English the poetical power oI the original,
representing thus grammatical translation variants and not also
semantic and stylistical ones.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 122
There are also a number oI classiIying adjectives which
are related to an uncommon intransitive use oI a verb: acting (n
Iuncie, n oIiciu; supleant, delegat, interimar), floating (plutitor,
care pluteste, Ilotant), gathering (care
adun/strnge/colecteaz), going (n mers, care merge, n
Iunciune), leading (conductor, care conduce), missing (absent,
lips, care lipseste), running (alergtor, care alearg;
nentrerupt, continuu).
Unlike the other categories oI verbal adjectives, most
adjectives belonging to this category do not have Romanian
adjectival correspondents being sometimes expressed with the
help oI a Romanian relative pronoun care the equivalent oI the
English uncommon intransitive use verb (care
adun/strnge/colecteaz). In other cases, as can be seen Irom
the translation oI the above adjectives, they have adjective
equivalents into Romanian, their being expressed with the help
oI a Romanian relative pronoun care the equivalent oI the
English uncommon intransitive use verb construction sounding
sometimes unnaturally or disregarding the principle oI economy
in a language.
We founa the missing piece of the figsaw unaer the
chair.(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)
|Am gsit piesa lips/care lipsea din Ierstrau sub
scaun.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

123
The police were involvea in a running battle with
aemonstrators.(Oxford Advanced Learner`s Dictionary)
|Poliia ducea o lupt continu/neintrerupt cu
demonstranii.|
c) -ing adjectives which are not related to verbs at all:
appetizing (apetisant, care strrneste poIta de mncare, gustos),
balding (care cheleste/ pe cale s cheleasc), cunning (siret,
smecher, viclean), enterprising (ntreprinztor, plin de
iniiativ), excruciating (chinuitor, Iioros, groaznic),
impending (iminent, apropiat, amenintor), neighbouring
(vecin, nvecinat, apropiat), scathing (sarcastic, tios, caustic),
unwitting ( involuntar, nepremeditat, Ir voie).
Pitman glancea at the fat, balding man sitting besiae
him.(Collins - English Usage)
|Pitman se holba la brbatul gras, pe cale s cheleasc si
care sttea lng el.|
It is to be remarked that the translation oI the verbal
adjective in the above sentence is not made by another adjective
but by the Romanian syntagm pe cale s cheleasc, although
the other adjectives Irom this category have perIect Romanian
syntactical correspondents. The explanation in point lies in the
Iact that in Romanian we cannot make the distinction between
the English adjectives bald and balding throughout translation
by giving them both adjectival correspondents. This results in
the translation oI the English bald by the Romanian chel and oI








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 124
the English balding by the Romanian syntagm pe cale s
cheleasc/care cheleyte, all oI which allow us to talk oI an
action about to happen meaning expressed by the English ing
suIIix.
He launchea into a scathing attack on Gates.(Collins -
English Usage)
|El s-a lansat ntr-un atac puternic mpotriva lui Gates/l-a
atacat puternic pe Gates.|
d) -ing adjectives derived from a verb and a prefix:
forthcoming (apropiat, care se aproprie), incoming (nou venit),
oncoming (care se aproprie, viitor), ongoing (continuu),
outgoing (care pleac), outstanding (eminent, distins,
remarcabil), overbearing (autoritar, arogant), uplifting
(nltor, care ridic), upstanding (n picioare, vertical; drept,
cinstit).
Woulant that cause a aelay in outgoing mail? (Collins -
English Grammar)
|Asta n-ar ntrzia corespondena care pleac/plecarea
corespondenei?|
Jarvis was never very forthcoming about his love
life.(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)
|Jarvis n-a Iost niciodat Ioarte aeschis n legtur cu
viaa sa amoroas.|
A cursory translation approach to the above sentences
enables one to say that in most cases the verbal adjectives







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

125
belonging to this category Iind perIect semantic adjective-
expressed correspondents into Romanian.
e) -ing adjectives used for emphasis in inIormal speech:
blinking, blithering, blooming, flaming, flipping, raving,
stinking, thundering.
Unlike the other categories mentioned so Iar, these
adjectives do not have exact correspondents into Romanian their
translation being made with the help oI various Romanian
intensiIiers meant to lay stress even more on the respective noun
they determine.
These adjectives are always used in Iront oI a noun,
never aIter a link verb:
If you plan to foin the others, you might tell your
blinking brother.(Collins- English Usage)
|Dac ai de gnd s li te alturi celorlali, ai putea s-i
spui aeteptului de Irate-tu.|
I knew that I was carrying on a aialogue with a raving
lunatic.(Collins-op.cit.)
|Stiam c discutam cu un nebun ae legat.|
R.Quirk also comments upon the possibility oI an -ing
Iorm to be compounded with another element, Iorming an
adjective compound, a case in which the -ing Iorm reaches Iull
adjectival status .








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 126
Compound -ing adjectives are made up oI two words,
usually written with hyphens between them. Quirk establishes
several patterns Ior the Iormation oI such compound adjectives:
a) object -ing participle: breath-taking (care i taie
respiraia, uluitor), record-breaking (care bate recordul),
self-defeating (care se ntrece cu sine nsusi), self-justifying
(care se autojustiIic), life-giving (care d via/dttor de
via).
b) adverbial -ing participle : ocean-going (care merge la
ocean), fist-fighting (care se lupt cu pumnii), law-abiding
(care respect legea).
c) adverb / adjective -ing participle: hard-working (silitor,
care munceste din greu), easy-going (comod, indolent, las-
m s te las), high-resounding (cu rezonan mare, Iaimos,
Ioarte cunoscut), everlasting (vesnic, nemuritor, etern), far-
reaching (plin de consecine, cu rsunet), well-meaning
(bine intenionat), good-looking (artos, chipes).
W.Collins considers that compound adjectives also may
be classiIied into:
a) qualitative compound adjectives: close-fitting (care se
potriveste perIect), easy-going (comod, indolent, las-m s
te las), far-reaching (plin de consecine, cu rsunet), good-
looking (artos, chipes), hard-wearing (siIonabil, care nu se
poart bine), labour-saving (care usureaz munca), long-
lasting (durabil), long-standing (de lung durat), long-







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

127
suffering (ndelung rbdtor, care suIer multe, care nghite
multe), mouth-watering (care-i las gura ap, delicios),
nice-looking (artos, care arat bine, chipes), off-putting
(neplcut, care deranjeaz), smooth-talking (convingtor,
cu putere de convingere).
b) classifying compound adjectives: free-standing (care nu e
Iix, liber), never-ending (interminabil), record-breaking
(care bate recordul) .
A dictionary based analysis oI the translation into
Romanian oI these adjectives proves that in most cases they are
translated by relative clauses since in Romanian the process oI
composition in language applies more to nouns than to any other
part oI speech, all oI which results in the predominance oI
compound nouns over compound adjectives which stand either
Ior diIIerent shades oI colour (gri petrol, rou carmin, rou
aprins, etc.) or Ior adverb-stressed qualities (binemeritat,
multaorit, etc.)
Implant the never-failing strength
Of hate ana love into my arms.(O.Goga-A Prayer,
translated by L.Levichi)
|Sdeste-n braul meu ae-a pururi
Tria urii si-a iubirii.|
Let us arrange in gloomy brotherhooa
These pitiable-looking holy relics.(O.Goga-In The
Museum, translated by L.Levichi)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 128
|S le-asezm n trist nIrire
Aceste moaste falnice si sIinte.|
Poor Dorothea , comparea with her, the innocent -
looking Celia was knowing ana woraly -wise. (G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|Srmana Dorotea! n comparaie cu ea, canaiaa Celia
era mult stiutoare si nzestrat cu o nelepciune lumeasc.|
A Iinal example-based translation remark concerning the
verbal adjectives reIers to their being used predominantly in
literary texts and even in poetry due to their complex semantic
charge.

NOTES

1. Bdescu, A., op.cit., pp.335-336.
2. Bantay, A., op.cit., pp. 74-76.
3. Levichi , L., op.cit., pp. 221-236.
4. Collins,W., English Crammar, Harper Collins Publishers,
London, 1992, pp. 23-25.
5. Quirk, R., Leech, G., Greenbaum, S. , Svartnik, 1.,
op.cit., pp. 153-154, 998-999, 1325-1326.
6. Eastwood, 1., op.cit., pp. 159-174.

THE VERBAL NOUN AND ITS ROMANIAN
EQUIVALENTS








1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

129
The verbal noun, also called an -ing noun, has the
characteristics oI a noun whose determinatives it borrows. It
names an action or a state, but it is not a verbal Iorm.
Although many grammarians: A.Bdescu (1), A. Bantas
(2), L.Levichi(3), W.Collins (4), G.Leech (5) admit the
existence oI an -ing Iorm acting as a noun and having its own
characteristics (plural Iorm, determination by adjectives, deIinite
and indeIinite articles) which distinguish it Irom the other three
homonymous Iorms (the present participle, the gerund and the
verbal adjective), there are also a Iew, such as: B.Ilyish (6),
Thomson & Martinet (7), K.Schibsbye (8) who choose not to
speak oI a verbal noun proper, but oI the substantival Ieatures oI
the gerund and oI the adjectival Ieatures oI the present
participle.
A possible explanation Ior their choice to deal with only
two -ing Iorms (the present participle and the gerund) may be
the Iact that, when used attributively beIore a noun, the -ing
nouns can very easily be mistaken Ior verbal adjectives (also
called -ing adjectives), while their being or not being expanded
by an object or an adverbial leaves room Ior their interpretation
as gerunds.
G.Leech points out the diIIerences between -ing nouns
and -ing adjectives, so that there can be no conIusion between
the two homonymous Iorms. Thus, according to him, the
characteristic Ieatures oI a verbal noun are:








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 130
a) It may have a plural Iorm:
While forcing scientists to revise their thinking about
hereaity, the findings are also raising ethical
quanaaries.(Time-February 17 , 1992)
|n timp ce i oblig pe oamenii de stiin s-si
revizuiasc concepia asupra ereditii, aescoperirile ridic/pun
de asemenea probleme/diIiculti etice.|
Your master strikes you with the whip
When blessings reach you from the sky.(O.Goga-The
Ploughmen , translated by L.Levichi)
|Stpnul vitreg v loveste
Cnd cerul bine-v-cuvant.|
b) It may be preceded by a deIinite or indeIinite article as well
as by an adjective and a noun:
I am sure - at least, I trust, thought Celia, that the
wearing of a necklace will not interfere with my prayers.
(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|Sunt sigur sau cel puin am convingerea - cuget
Celia, c un colier purtat la gat nu-mi va nruri cu nimic
rugciunile.|
Ana so Eutychios quickly maae a reckoning of men ana
of pieces of gola.(M.Sadoveanu-op.cit.)
|Asa nct EItihie Icea socoteli repezi de oameni si de
sigle de aur.|







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

131
He stayea a little longer than he haa intenaea, on a
slight pressure of invitation from Mr. Brooke, who offerea no
bait except his own aocuments on machine-breaking ana rick-
burning .(G.Eliot-op.cit.)
|MusaIirul rmase al ei ceva mai mult dect intenionase,
n urma unor usoare insistene ale domnului Brooke, care nu-i
oIerise alt momeal dect documentele lui asupra aistrugerii
mainilor si a araerii cpielor.|
-Ing adjectives, on the other hand, are characterized by
their being preceded by adverbs oI degree (very, quite, rather,
so, too, as) and by their having degrees oI comparison (a most
interesting book).
W.Collins classiIies -ing nouns into the Iollowing two
main categories:
a) uncountable nouns - which reIer to activities in a general
way and have the characteristics oI the uncountable nouns
(cannot be used with numbers, have only one Iorm and do
not usually have a determiner in Iront oI them), being
generally translated into Romanian either by substantivized
participle nouns or bz nouns proper: eating (mncatul),
fighting (lupta), hearing (auzul), training (antrenamentul,
pregtirea), swimming (notul) etc.
Eating, unlike fighting, is a pursuit in which both sexes
freely inaulge .(Collins-op.cit.)








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 132
|Mancatul spre deosebire de lupt este o ndeletnicire pe
care ambele sexe si-o permit. |
Only six per cent of chilaren receive any further training
when they leave school.(Collins-op.cit.)
|Doar 6 dintre copii primesc o pregtire/colari:are
adiional/si continu stuaiile dup ce termin scoala.|
Within this category there is also a small number oI -ing
nouns, most oI them reIerring to sporting or leisure activities,
which are much more common than their related verbs: angling
(pescuitul cu undia), boating (canotaj), bowling (joc de popice,
bowling), canoeing (canotaj, vslit), caravanning (mersul cu
caravana), electioneering (campanie/propagand electoral),
hiking (marsul, hiking-ul- with an approximate English
pronunciation), mountaineering (alpinism), shoplifting (Iuratul
din magazine), sightseeing (turism, excursie), skateboarding
(skateboard with an approximate English pronunciation),
surfing (surIing - with an approximate English pronunciation),
weightlifting (ridicarea greutilor), yachting (sport cu iahtul;
iahting).
A dictionary based translation oI the above mentioned
verbal nouns enabels one to say that some oI them were given
Romanian correspondents in the Iorm oI various nouns reIerring
more or less to the same sport or leisure activities while others
entered the language with the spelling and sometimes with the
same pronunciation like in English.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

133
b) count(able) nouns - which reIer to the result oI an action or
process, or to an individual instance oI it: beginning
(nceput), being (Iiin), building (cldire, construire),
drawing (desenul, desenatul), feeling (sentiment), finding
(decoperire), hearing (auzul), meaning (neles), meeting
(ntlnire), offering (propunere), painting (pictur), saying
(zical), setting (aranjare, poziie; cadru), showing
(demonstrare, expunere), sitting (sedin, ntrunire),
suffering (suIerin), turning (cotitur, serpentin),
warning (avertisment).
This category oI nouns have such a Irequency oI usage
in the language that they are no longer Ielt as verbal nouns, the
remaining verbal noun Ieature being the ing ending and
nothing more. When translated into Romanian they Iind their
equivalents in nouns proper and not in nouns coming Irom a
substantivized participle as was oI the case with the other
categories mentioned so Iar.
The findings obtainea through the application of the new
methoa were unexpectea.(A.Bantay-op.cit.)
|Descoperirile Icute prin aplicarea noii metode au Iost
neasteptate.|
You hallow with your suffering's aew
The glebe of our belovea home ' (O.Goga-The
Ploughmen, translated by L.Levichi)
|SIinii cu roua suferinii








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 134
rna plaiurilor noastre.|
R.Quirk (9) notes that, when an -ing Iorm occurs alone
or preceded just by a genitive noun phrase, the construction is
syntactically ambiguous between an -ing clause (also called a
gerund construction by traditional grammars) and a noun phrase
with a verbal noun in -ing as its head. Thus, in the sentence:
They likea our singing - our singing can reIer either to
the action oI singing or to the mode oI singing.
The diIIerence between them in point oI translation is
easy to be made once we translate the verbal noun singing by a
Romanian substantivized participle noun (cantatul) when we
want to reIer to the action oI singing and by a paraphrase (felul
cum cantm) when we reIer to the mode oI singing, that is to the
quality oI the singing.
Without Iurther expansion by an object or an adverbial,
the genitive biases towards a mode interpretation, a case in
which one may assume that the construction is a noun phrase .
Similarly, in the sentence: Hiking is his best relaxation
(Hiking-ul este cea mai bun relaxare pentru el), an example
given by A. Bdescu to illustrate the syntactic Iunction oI
subject oI the -ing Iorm, hiking should be interpreted, according
to Quirk, as a noun phrase since it is expanded by neither an
object or an adverbial. This point oI view is also conIirmed by
W.Collins who places this word on his list oI uncountable -ing
nouns reIerring to sporting or leisure activities.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

135
The same observation could be made in the case oI the
sentence: My hobby is swimming (Hobby-ul meu este inotul),
since, without Iurther expansion, swimming may be, according
to the same point oI view, interpreted as a verbal noun. Going
even Iurther with his analysis, Quirk notices that the -ing Iorms
allowing this double interpretation Iunction as subject, direct
object and predicative, all oI which are syntactic Iunctions
speciIic to nouns, a reason more Ior him to consider such Iorms
as verbal nouns and not as gerunds.
However, this conIusion does not appear when these -ing
Iorms are expanded by an adverbial or a direct object since this
possibility oI expansion is a characteristic verbal Ieature which
leads to their only interpretation as gerunds.
Thus, iI the - ing Iorm in the sentence: Reading improves
the mina (G.Leech-op.cit.) translatable by Cititul ii lrgete
ori:ontul minii is expanded by the noun poetry, Ior example,
Iunctioning as a direct object: Reading poetry improves the
mina (S citeti poezie i lrgeste orizontul minii), one should
not hesitate to consider the -ing Iorm in the second sentence as
being a gerund. It is also to be noted that the diIIerence between
them should be also made in as Iar as their tarnslation into
Romanian is concerned in the sense that one should translate the
ing Iorm Iunctioning as a verbal noun by a Romanian
substantivized participle noun and the one Iunctioning as a
gerund by a Romanian 'conjunctiv prezent.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 136
Another translation error concerning the same ing Iorm
may appear iI we translate the generally recognized verbal noun
reading by the Romanian noun citirea instead oI cititul since
the sentences Cititul ii lrgete ori:ontul minii si Citirea ii
lrgete ori:ontul minii are not stylistically identical since in
the Iirst sentence the noun cititul sends one with the thought to
the action oI reading combined with thinking and understanding
while in the second sentence the noun citirea reIers to the very
action oI reading or rather to the mode in which one reads
without any implied idea oI reading Ior the sake oI thinking and
understanding.


NOTES

1. Bdescu, A., op.cit ., p. 342.
2. Bantay, A., Limba englez pentru admitere, Editura Teora,
Bucuresti, 1997, pp.155-156.
3. Levichi, L., op.cit., pp. 221-236.
4. Collins, W., op.cit., pp. 76-79.
5. Leech, G., op.cit., pp . 209-214.
6. Ilyish, B., op.cit., pp. 135-137.
7. Thomson, A. 1., Martinet, A. V., op.cit., pp. 228-233.
8. Schibsbye, K., op.cit ., pp. 57-64.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

137
9. Quirk, R., Leech, G., Greenbaum, S., Svartnik, 1., op.cit.,
pp. 153-154, 998-999, 1325-1326.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 138
SPECIAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE ENGLISH -Ing
FORMS WITH THE ROMANIAN SPEAKERS OF
ENGLISH

The English -ing Iorms pose a considerable number oI
diIIiculties Ior the Romanian users oI the language both Irom
the point oI view oI their grammatical regimen and Irom that oI
their translation Irom one language into another.
Our study oI the Iour -ing Iorms in English has shown
that both an English and a Romanian speaker oI the language
can very easily mistake one -ing Iorm Ior another when its
characteristic Ieatures are not clearly understood, or misinterpret
the meaning oI the same -ing Iorm used in diIIerent contexts by
relating it, Ior example, to a wrong -ing special construction.
Thus, the so-called HalI-Gerund or Fused Participle
Construction may, on the one hand, be connected with the
Genitive with the Gerund Construction and, on the other, with
the Accusative with the Participle. Timothy Cobb (1) in
Today`s English Grammar proves that this connection in
meaning to one or to the other oI the constructions mentioned
above can only be established by the possibility or impossibility
to replace the respective -ing Iorm by an inIinitive verb or by a
relative clause. In order to prove his point oI view, he takes into
consideration the Iollowing examples:
(1) She was surprisea to see a clergyman going to a cinema.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

139
(2) The letter was founa by a clergyman going to a cinema.
(3) I cant unaerstana a clergyman going to a cinema.
His argumentation is based on the Iollowing
observations:
a) In the Iirst example, the -ing Iorm going may be replaced by
the inIinitive Iorm oI the verb go ,thus making a connection
in meaning with the Accusative with the Participle
Construction possible.
b) In the second example, the same -ing Iorm is equivalent to
the relative clause who was going, which proves once again
that it is part oI a present participle construction.
c) In the third example, no such substitution is possible and, as
a result, the -ing Iorm can only be connected in meaning to
the Genitive with the Gerund Construction.
T.Cobb also mentions that there are situations when the
distinction made between two -ing Iorms is not wholly
convincing. Thus, according to him, in the example:
The lock of the aoor haa been broken for some time ana
there was no point executing repairs on a house where no one
livea (T.Cobb-op.cit.) - the phrase there was no point
executing repairs is equivalent to the commoner there was no
point in executing repairs and it would seem a little Iutile to
call the Iorm by a diIIerent name in either case.
However, while T. Cobb asks himselI whether one
should distinguish between the second -ing Iorm which admits








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 140
oI no other interpretation but that oI a gerund used aIter a
preposition, and the Iirst -ing Iorm which could be labeled
diIIerently, traditional grammarians do not hesitate to consider
such a Iorm a gerund in both cases since the phrase there is no
point, even when it is not Iollowed by the preposition in, could
match the pattern there is no good / use Iollowed by a gerund,
not to mention the Iact that the preposition is implied.
Similarly, there is little to choose between such
combinations as:
He went on laughing .
He kept (on) laughing .
He continuea laughing.(T.Cobb-op.cit.) - in which the
equivalence in meaning oI the verbs go on, keep on and
continue makes one consider the -ing Iorm Iollowing go on also
a gerund , although Irom a grammatical point oI view only the
gerunds in the second and the third sentence are Iully explained
by their Iunctioning as objects to the transitive verbs keep on
and continue, while the verb go on is an intransitive verb, that is
unable to take an object.
However, whereas T. Cobb connects the three sentences
by their meaning, Thomson & Martinet, Ior example, list along
with go on, the phrasal verb go on with, having the same
meaning and being also Iollowed by a gerund, all oI which make
one speculate on the disappearance oI the preposition with in
contemporary English. Since the preposition is implied, the -ing







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

141
Iorm Iollowing with will also admit oI no other interpretation
but that oI a gerund used aIter an implied preposition.
In point oI grammatical interpretation, the Iirst possible
mistaken correspondence made by a Romanian is that between
an -ing gerund or participle and the Romanian gerunziu.
Although a Romanian user oI the language will automatically
translate a gerunziu by an English -ing Iorm, he / she will have
diIIiculties in establishing whether the respective -ing Iorm is a
gerund or a present participle, being oIten tempted to consider it
a gerund, without taking into consideration the Iact that the
Romanian gerunziu is the commonest possibility oI translation
Ior both the English gerund and the present participle.
This conIusion may be explained on the one hand by the
apparent similarity in denomination between the Romanian
gerunziu and the English gerund, and on the other by a certain
unconscious phonetic association which is made between the -
ind / ind suIIix characteristic oI the Romanian gerunziu
(venind, plecnd ) and the -ing suIIix, speciIic to the several
verbal -ing Iorms in English. This association based on similarly
sounding suIIixes prompts a Romanian learner oI English to
perIorm what may be called a phonetical loan translation.
Thus, a Romanian speaker oI the language will be
tempted to incorrectly interpret as a gerund the -ing Iorm in the
sentence: Washing his hanas, Tony noticea a cut on his finger,








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 142
representing a present participle Iorm Iunctioning as part oI an
adverbial modiIier oI time.
A contrastive study oI the Romanian gerunziu and oI the
English gerund or participle -ing Iorm reveals that there are
both common Ieatures as well as diIIerences between the
respective Iorms:
a) Unlike the Romanian gerunziu which has a strictly verbal
character, the English gerund has also nominal Ieatures.
Taking this into consideration , a Romanian should
automatically interpret an -ing Iorm as a present participle
and not as a gerund, since the English -ing Iorm having a
strictly verbal character and being a potential correspondent
in point oI grammatical character to the Romanian gerunziu,
is the present participle .
b) In point oI Iorm, they all have a characteristic suIIix: the
English -ing suIIix, which is added to the inIinitive Iorm oI a
notional verb and the Romanian -ind / ind, which is added to
the root oI the present tense, Indicative Mood.
c) There are several cases when, both the Romanian gerunziu
and the English gerund or participle express an action in
progress or the idea oI cause, time, manner, condition in the
Iorm oI the respective adverbial modiIiers.
d) Whereas the English gerund has tense distinctions, the
Romanian gerunziu does not have the grammatical category
oI tense . Thus , iI in English one can speak oI a present







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

143
Iorm oI the gerund and oI a perIect gerund, in Romanian
there is only one Iorm which, according to traditional
grammars, expresses the content oI the respective tense by
its being related to the tense oI the Iinite verb.
C.Dimitriu (2) in Gramatica limbii romne explicat
conIirms this point oI view, saying that the Romanian gerunziu
can express almost all the tenses oI the Indicative Mood once
the context is taken into consideration. He gives the Iollowing
examples in order to illustrate his theory:
Merge cantana Merge i cant (indicativ-prezent)
Mergea cantana Mergea i canta (indicativ-imperIect)
Merse cantana Merse i cant (indicativ-perIect
simplu)
A mers cantana A mers i a cantat (indicativ-perIect
compus)
Mersese cantana Mersese i cantase (indicativ-
m.m.c.pI.)
Ja merge cantana Ja merge i va canta (indicativ-
viitor)
It is to be noted that the situation is the same in English
since R.Quirk draws one`s attention to the Iact that the tense to
be attributed to the -ing clause will be the tense oI the Iinite verb
:
Do you know the man talking to my sister ?
|Do you know the man who is talking to my sister ?|








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 144
|l cunosti pe omul care vorbeyte cu sora mea?|
Dia you know the man talking to my sister?
|Did you know the man who was talking to my sister?|
|l cunosteai pe omul care vorbea cu sora mea?|
Another such problem is the apparent correspondence
between the Romanian imperfect and the English past
continuous tense (Iormed with the help oI an -ing participle), a
case in which conIusion appears once the Iollowing diIIerences
are not taken into consideration:
1) The English past continuous tense is used to express a
continuous action or state in a deIinite past moment, being
translated by a Romanian imperfect with the same
Iunction:
Yesteraay morning I was jogging through the park.
(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Ieri diminea Iceam jogging prin parc.|
Still, the two equivalent tenses cannot be reIerred to as
perIect equivalents since, while in English the idea oI a
continuous action or state is expressed with the help oI the
grammatical category oI aspect , which is characteristic oI
English, in Romanian there is no such grammatical category
and, as a result, it will be expressed only with the help oI the
grammatical category oI tense rendering both the idea oI
continuity expressed by the category oI aspect in English as well
as the time when the respective action takes place.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

145
2) The speciIic Iunction oI the Romanian imperfect is an
iterative one , rendered in English by:
b) a past tense - used to express a repeated, habitual action, a
case in which it is preceded by such adverbs as: regularly,
every (day, month, year), often etc.
At the time I went there regularly .
|Pe atunci mergeam acolo cu regularitate.|
b) the semi-auxiliary used to Iollowed by the short inIinitive
Iorm oI a verb:
I usea to play the guitar when I was younger .
|Obisnuiam s cnt la chitar cnd eram mai tnr.|
c) the modal auxiliary would Iollowed by the short inIinitive oI
the respective verb:
I woula play the guitar when I was younger.
|Cntam/Obisnuiam s cnt la chitar cnd eram mai
tnr.|
Because oI this double Iunction oI the Romanian
imperfect, conIusion oIten appears in the process oI its
translation into English, leading to incorrect translations as that
oI the sentence:
Anul trecut fucam tenis ae trei ori pe sptman by
Last year I was playing (?) tennis three times a week - a
case in which the past continuous tense is wrongly used to
express a habitual, repeated action which is normally expressed
in English with the help oI the past tense, simple aspect.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 146
There is, however, in English a special usage oI the past
continuous tense to express disapproval oI an action which, in
the speaker`s opinion, happened much too oIten, a case in which
it is used with the adverb always or with its synonyms forever,
all the time, continuously, incessantly.
Everyboay is glaa theyve left the neighbourhooa. They
are always quarrelling with everyone .
The situation is diIIerent in the case oI the sentence:
Copiii cantau cana profesoara a intrat in clas - which
must be translated by :
The chilaren were singing when the teacher enterea the
classroom - since the past continuous tense is used to express an
action which was continuous at a time that another past action
happened.
Similarly, there is a tendency with the Romanians
speakers oI English to always relate the Accusative with the
Participle Construction to its Romanian correspondent in point
oI Iorm Acuzativul Gerunziu. Thus, in the Iollowing two
sentences:
I saw her coming .
Am v:ut-o venina.- the English direct object her in the
accusative case has as a correspondent the Romanian direct
object o also in the accusative, while the -ing participle coming
is represented in Romanian by the gerunziu` venind, both
discharging the syntactic Iunction oI a predicative adjunct,







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

147
which Iact points to an apparent perIect equivalence between the
two constructions.
It is to be noted, however, that when the Romanian direct
object is expressed by a personal pronoun replacing a masculine
/ neuter noun, such as in: L-am va:ut venina, it is placed in Iront
oI the Iinite verb and has no correspondent in English in point oI
position . Thus , iI in Romanian the sentence: L-am v:ut venina
is grammatically correct, in English there is no way we can
place the direct object in Iront oI the Iinite verb which leads to
the impossibility oI having a perIect Iormal equivalence at least
between the English Accusative with the Participle Construction
and the Romanian Acuzativul cu Gerunziu.
In the same way, the English verbal noun and verbal
adjective can be mistaken one Ior the other once the meaning is
not taken into consideration. Thus, in a cutting machine and a
cutting remark, the two identical -ing Iorms can wrongly be
interpreted as present participles taking into consideration such
criteria as: their identical syntactic Iunction (attribute) or their
both being placed beIore a noun, when in Iact the Iirst -ing Iorm
cutting is a gerund, easy to recognize iI one discovers the idea
oI purpose which can be expressed with the help oI the
preposition for (a machine Ior cutting), while the second -ing
Iorm is a present participle having the grammatical status oI a
qualiIying adjective and discharging the syntactic Iunction oI an
attribute.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 148
In view oI such miscellaneous equivalences as presented
above, one must take into consideration the possibilities oI
translation Ior each oI the uses oI the -ing Iorms in English.
Thus, the -ing participle will be translated into Romanian
as Iollows:
1) When the present participle is part oI a verbal predicate
helping the Iormation oI the continuous aspect in English, it
can be translated by:
a) a tense of the Romanian Indicative Mood , when the
respective English verb in the continuous aspect is in the
Indicative Mood:
Mother is cooking ainner, it will be reaay in a
minute.(A.Bantay-Limba englez n liste yi tabele)
|Mama pregteyte masa de sear; va Ii gata imediat.|
I was reading an interesting book when the aoor bell
rang.(A.Bantay-op.cit.)
|Citeam o carte interesant cnd cineva a sunat la us.|
Roger haa been studying the problem for two hours
when he finally founa the solution .(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|Roger studiase / studia problema de dou ore cnd n
cele din urm a gsit rezolvarea.|
b) a Romanian condiional optativ when the present participle
helps the Iormation oI the continuous aspect oI the
Conditional Mood:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

149
I woulant be swimming in the lake unless I haa learnt
how to swim.(G.Gleanu-op.cit.)
|A-ay nota n lac acum dac n-as Ii nvat s not.|
c) a conjunctiv when it is part oI a predicate in the Subjunctive
Mood:
I wish he werent asking so many questions .
|As vrea ca el s nu mai pun attea ntrebri.|
2) When used as part oI a participial construction , the English
present participle will be translated into Romanian either by
a gerunziu, discharging the syntactic Iunction oI
predicative adjunct, both in Romanian and in English, or by
a tense belonging to the Indicative Mood.
Thus, in the sentence: If she catches you reading her
aiary shell be furious.(T & M-op.cit.) translated by : Dac te
prinae citindu-i furnalul se va infuria, the present participle
reading which is part oI an Accusative with the Participle
Construction has as an equivalent Iorm the Romanian gerunziu`
citind .
On the other hand, the sentence: I felt black thoughts
filling me, increasingly irresistible is the English equivalent
given by E.D.Tappe Ior the Romanian original : Eu simt cum m
nvlesc ain ce in ce mai ire:istibile iaeile
negre.(I.L.Caragiale-Schie yi povestiri)
3) When the present participle is part oI an attribute, it is
generally translated by a relative clause.








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 150
Thus, the sentence: A poet is a man speaking to
men.(W.Wordsworth-Preface to the Lyrical Ballads) is
translated by L.Levichi by: Poetul e un om care vorbeyte
oamenilor, in which case the subordinate clause care vorbeyte
oamenilor is a relative clause which has also an equivalent in
English: who speaks to men since, when discharging the
Iunction oI an attribute, an -ing participle construction can be
replaced by a relative clause.
4) IndeIinite Participles Iunctioning as adverbial modiIiers are
translated into Romanian by a gerunziu as Iollows:
x adverbial modiIier oI time:
Seeing me, he stoppea. (L.Levichi-Gramatica limbii
engleze)
|Jzndu-m s-a oprit.|
x adverbial modiIier oI cause:
Feeling tirea, the boy went to bea.(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Simindu-se obosit , biatul se duse la culcare|
x adverbial modiIier oI attendant circumstances :
He enterea the room singing .(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Intr n camer cntnd|
The rule is, however, broken in the case oI the -ing
participles Iunctioning as adverbial modiIiers oI comparison and
oI condition, which will be translated by a condiional optativ
perfect or by an adverbial clause of condition.







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

151
Thus, the sentence: He spoke in a loua voice as if being
alone.(L.Levichi-op.cit.) will be translated into Romanian by:
Jorbea cu voce tare ae parc ar fi fost singur, while the
sentence: All being well, we shoula be home about six - which is
J. Eastwood`s example Ior an -ing participle Iunctioning as part
oI an adverbial modiIier oI condition, will have the Romanian
equivalent: Dac totul merge bine, vom afunge acas in fur ae
ora ase .
5) The perIect participle will be translated either by a gerunziu
or by an adverbial clause of time when the respective
perIect participle is part oI an adverbial modiIier oI time,
and by an adverbial clause of cause when it is part oI an
adverbial modiIier oI cause:
Having finished his hometask, Mike went to the
pictures.(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|1erminndu-yi / Dup ce-yi termin tema, Mike se
duse la cinema|
Having been warned of the low temperatures there, he
clothea warmly.(L.Levichi-op.cit.)
|Fiind prevenit / Deoarece fusese prevenit
asupra/mpotriva temperaturilor sczute din acea regiune, se
mbrac/s-a mbrcat n haine clduroase|
It is to be noted that the adverbial clauses oI time and oI
cause are perIect equivalents Ior the -ing participle in English as
well, since having finished his hometask has as a variant after








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 152
he had finished his hometask, while having been warned of
the low temperatures may also be expressed by as he had
been warned of the low temperatures.
A.Bdescu (3) deals with the possibilities oI translation
oI the English gerund, noting that it can be translated into
Romanian by:
a) a Romanian gerunziu:
On seeing him, I wavea . (A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Jzndu-l, i-am Icut cu mna|
b) a noun :
She burst out in a fit of crying .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Izbucni ntr-un acces de plns|
c) a Romanian infinitiv or conjunctiv :
Ann stooa without looking at me .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Ana sttea fr a m privi / s m priveasc.|
d) one of the personal tenses :
Theres no saying what he can ao .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Au poate nimeni spune ce este el n stare s Iac|
I remember telling her the story .(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Imi amintesc c i-am spus povestea|
e) An English gerund preceded by a possessive adjective /
pronoun is translated into Romanian by a subordinate
clause in which the English word in the possessive or in the
accusative case has as a Romanian equivalent a word in the
nominative case:







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

153
Your answering without thinking was a
mistake.(A.Bdescu-op.cit.)
|Faptul c ai rspuns Ir s te gndesti a Iost o
greseal|
He wasnt aware of Dans watching him.(A.Bdescu-
op.cit.)
|Nu-si ddea seama c Dan l privea|
A.Bdescu`s list oI Romanian equivalents may be
enriched with three more possibilities oI translation as Iollows :
f) a Romanian condiional perfect :
Danny aeniea knowing anything of their plan.(T.Cobb-
op.cit.)
|Danny a negat c ar fi ytiut ceva de planul lor|
g) a Romanian supin :
I wish you woula leave off smoking .(T.Cobb-op.cit.)
|As vrea s te lasi de fumat|
h) a Romanian participiu:
I founa him absorbea in a scheme of his partners
devising.(T.Cobb-op.cit.)
|L-am gsit absorbit de / cu nasul ntr-o schem fcut
de partenerul lui|
Verbal adjectives are generally translated into Romanian
by an adjective. Thus, in the sentence:
What a aelightful party ' What a charming house ' What
an interesting family' (H.1ames-Washington Square) - the








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 154
verbal adjectives charming and interesting are given the
Romanian adjectival equivalents minunat and interesant :
|Ce petrecere ncnttoare ! Ce cas minunat! Ce
Iamilie interesant!|(translated by R.Surdulescu)
There are also cases when an -ing adjective which has a
corresponding adjective into Romanian and which Iunctions as
an attribute is not translated by using the respective adjective,
but by using a whole relative clause. The sentence :
He haa travellea in his younger years ana was hela in
this part of the county to have contractea a too rambling habit
of mina .(G.Eliot-op.cit.) - has as a Romanian equivalent:
|In tineree cltorise mult, aar acum in colul acela ae
comitat era consiaerat un om a crui minte a cam nceput s-o
ia razna|- in which Eugen B. Marian chose to translate the
construction rambling habit of mind by a crui minte a cam
nceput s-o ia razna instead oI the existing corresponding
Romanian adjective rtcitor/ hoinar which , when it qualiIies
the noun minte does not connote the idea oI insanity which is to
be encountered in the semantic Iield oI the verbal phrase
mentioned .
A complete study oI the verbal adjectives should also
include the observation that in Romanian there are also a Iew
adjectives derived Irom a gerunziu which makes them apparent
Iormal equivalents oI the English verbal adjectives taking into
consideration such criteria as their Iull adjectival status and their







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

155
suIIix characteristic oI the gerunziu. Thus, Gh. Bulgar (4) in
Limba romn mentions such adjectives as vibrnd in lir
vibrnd, Ior example, and luminnd in for luminnd. II
we try to translate them into English, we can note that they have
equivalent -ing adjectives, Iunctioning as attributes: vibrating
lyre, enlightening / lighting force.
Compound -ing adjectives are generally translated into
Romanian by a relative clause:
a recora-breaking result un re:ultat care aepete
recoraul
a law-abiaing man un om care respect legea
an English-speaking stuaent un stuaent care vorbete
engle:a
In poetry, there are cases when a compound adjective
represents the equivalent English Iorm oI an adjective and not
necessarily oI a relative clause. In the Iollowing two lines:
To break the all-inviting stubble
Your plough at early hours hies (O.Goga-The
Ploughmen)- the compound adjective all-inviting is used by
L.Levichi as an equivalent translation oI the Romanian
adjective gritor Irom the original lines :
In coapsa gritoarei miriti
Devreme plugul vostru ar .
Similarly, the original adjective jalnice Irom :
S le-ae:m in trista infrire








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 156
Aceste moate jalnice i sfinte.(O.Goga-In The
Museum) - is given by L.Levichi an English compound -ing
adjective pitiable-looking:
Let us arrange in gloomy brotherhooa
These pitiable-looking holy relics.
A Iurther analysis oI the various possibilities oI
translating the English -ing nouns into Romanian will reveal that
they can be translated by two categories oI nouns:
a) nouns proper - which are not derived Irom a verbal Iorm:
beginning inceput
builaing claire
meeting intalnire
painting pictur
b) nouns derived either Irom a Romanian participiu which by
articulation has become a noun proper, or Irom a long
infinitive Iorm which is no longer in use as a verbal Iorm
and, as a result, it has achieved a nominal status:
eating mancatul coming sosire ( a sosi
)
coming venire ( a veni )
learning invatul leaving plecare ( a
pleca)
going mersul aoing facere ( a face )
writing scrisul writing scriere ( a
scrie )







1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

157
singing cantatul
To these nominal possibilities oI translation, one could
add a third one since there are cases when an English verbal
noun accompanied by an adjective is used to translate a
Romanian verb adverb construction such as in the Iollowing
sentence:
I stretchea myself out again ana shut my eyes while
Bubico kept up a mufflea growling, like thunaer receaing into
the aistance after the passage of a fearful storm.
(I.L.Caragiale-Bubico) - in which the verbal noun growling
accompanied by the adjective muffled is ProI. E.D.Tappe`s
English translation oI the Romanian construction mrie
nfundat:
Eu m lungesc la loc inchi:ana ochii, pe cana Bubico
mrie nfundat ca tunetul care se tot aeprtea:a aup trecerea
unei gro:ave furtuni.
Similarly, in the example:
Your master strikes you with the whip
When blessings reach you from the sky. (O.Goga-The
Ploughmen) - L.Levichi used the verbal noun blessings to
express the meaning oI the verb a binecuvnta since the
Romanian version is:
Stpanul vitreg v lovete
Cana cerul v binecuvnt .








ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 158
Finally, in point oI Iorm it is to be noted that
contemporary Romanian has assimilated quite a Iew English
verbal nouns oIten using them as such without any change in
spelling and pronunciation. Thus mention can be made oI:
dumping, surfing, bowling, jogging, catering, tackling,
casting, living, travelling, leasing / lising, drilling, marketing,
smoking, cliring(clearing), living, jobing(jobbing),
dribling(dribbling), parking - which have been given the
grammatical status oI masculine nouns .
However, their assimilation is partial as only some oI
them tend to be pronounced phonetically such as: |surIing|;
|katering|; |takling|; |kasting|, while a considerable number oI
them are approximately pronounced like in English by the more
educated part oI the population.

NOTES

1. Cobb, T., Gardiner, R., 1oday's English Crammar, Editura
Prietenii Crii , Bucuresti, 1994, pp. 24-37 , 45-47.
2. Dimitriu, C., Cramatica limbii romne explicat, Editura
Junimea , Iasi, 1979, pp. 288-293.
3. Bdescu, A., op.cit., pp. 342-343.
4. Bulgar, Gh., Limba romn, Editura Vox , Bucuresti, 1995,
p. 79.








1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

159
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ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 160
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1he English Aonfinite Jerbal Forms.
A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

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ALINA MIU PROCOPIE P. CLONEA 162
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A Morpho-Syntactical Approach

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