Go+ the ing form

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Go+ the ing form

Post by Jededly » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:16 am

There are a lot of cases when we use compound predicates with the verb "go". I would like to know when the ing form is a participle and when is a gerund. Please, look at these cases..
go flying/laughing/rushing etc
The meaning is to move in a particular way, or to do something as you are moving:
The plate went crashing to the floor.
The bullet went flying over my head.
John went rushing off down the corridor.
I think the ing form after "went" is a participle, "went crasing" is a compound nominal predicate.
"went" is a auxiliary verb, and "crashing" is nominal part, describing the subject, telling what the plate did. The same I would say about the rest two sentences.
But in "I went sightseeing/swimming/flying yesterday" we deal with the gerund. "sightdeeing/.." means the process, the act that I went to do. It is the same case as "I finished working(to work)". So,"went sightseeing"is a compound verbal predicate.

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Re: Go+ the ing form

Post by Alan » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:54 am

In brief...

In e.g. '....went crashing to the floor' the -ing form would indeed be considered a participle, while in e.g. '...went sightseeing' - since it actually means 'went for (the purpose of) sightseeing' - the -ing form is generally regarded as gerund.

I trust that addresses the essence of your query!