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    Ing-forms and n-forms as modifiers

    In Chapter 2 we saw that a noun phrase can have modifiers coming before the head. For instance, in the noun phrase an angry dog, dog is the head and an and angry are modifiers of the head. The word angry is an adjective (see Chapter 4 on adjectives). When adjectives are used to modify heads in a noun phrase, they normally come after any determiner and before the head. A similar kind of modification of the head can be achieved by the use of the ing-forms and n-forms of verbs. Thus the noun phrase a barking dog has barking as a modifier of the head dog. Here are some further examples: a convincing victory the crumbling walls some moving targets the waiting crowd a coughing child a satisfied customer the relieved garrison an interrupted session a vanished ship Pages 59–62 of Chapter 4 deal at more length with this use of ing-forms and n-forms. Ing-forms as heads The ing-forms of verbs can also be converted to a kind of noun-like use. Here are some examples of what we must regard as noun phrases since they have the definite article coming before a head and a prepositional phrase as post-modifier: the breaking of the window the burning of the toast the examining of candidates by an external examiner This construction is systematically related to various sentence patterns: X breaks the window The window breaks The toast burns The external examiner examines the candidates (See Chapter 5, pp. 71–2, for a description of the sentence patterns; see glossary for systematically related.) The ing-form of verbs can also have a nounlike function without any of-expression following. In the following sentences we can see from the use of the determiners that the ing-forms are, in essence, nouns: All walking is good exercise Some driving is enjoyable and recreational Such words as walking and driving in the above are equivalent to uncountable nouns, and thus they can be used without any determiner: Walking is good exercise
    Driving is enjoyable and recreational

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