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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Verbs of perception     

Verbs of perception


Verbs of perception
Hello everyone ,

I would be grateful if you shared me your experience .

Some verbs of perception are followed by  ing- form (GERUND) or base form.

Example :
I saw the boy running quickly  .                  I saw the boy run quickly  .

Is there  a clear difference in meaning or structure . Or it doesnt matter .

Please reply.

Thank you .

18 Jul 2013      

L. habach


18 Jul 2013     


Hi, If we want to say that we heard or saw the whole action from beginning to end, we usually use bare infinitive. Otherwise, we �ll use -ing form .

18 Jul 2013     

United States

The -ing form is usually used when you want to emphasize the process over time. If you are considering an event (as if it were just a point in time), you would use the simple present/bare infinitive. We use "watch" more often than "see" for processes over time, except as in your example when the running was over a period of time, but the seeing was at a point.
I saw you hit your sister - a single event.
I saw you hitting your sister - I observed what seemed to be an ongoing action.
Flori �s answer covers it pretty well.

18 Jul 2013