Question & Answer Go Back

Can “during” be followed by a gerund or only by a noun/noun phrase? I’ve asked many native speakers and they assured me that it can’t be followed by a gerund unless there’s a possessive adjective before the gerund, e.g. During my reading, the phone rang.

Sender Alfaleh Khalifa
Position Head teacher

I’m not certain that that particular sentence is acceptable. When reading is a countable noun—and thus used with a or the or another determiner—such as the readings that form a part of church services, it can be used with during. However, we have not used this meaning of reading in the course, and as I said, the sentence you give is doubtful, as reading is unlikely to have an uncountable meaning here. It is much better to say While I was reading, the phone rang.

In general, students should not use during with a gerund. It is grammatical only in very rare cases, and they would get marked wrong in an exam if they did so. See here for details.
ed. 18/10/15
rev. 24/12/15


     Type the word please
Please give the source of any quotations. Comments with uncited quotations will not be published.

Number of visitors : 1586640
Home | About EIPL | About Hello! | Contact Us
Copyright © 2017 The Egyptian International Publishing Company - Longman.
All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted,
in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior permission.
Some of the materials in this website were provided by Education Management Consultants (EMC), Heliopolis, Cairo.