Love Me Some “ing” Verbs.

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Turning from the window, Mary faced her laptop to write her blog.

Love me some ing verbs!

I live in the Deep South, so what else is new? Many of us use ing verbs in our writing to add variety to our sentence structure. We use them in dialogue and in narrative. The problem is that MANY writers use ing verbs incorrectly. Yes, we do. Though I am a grammar teacher, I’ll try to make my explanations simple. (snort)

“I’m fixin’ to go to the store.” works in dialogue if your character speaks that way.

Writing fixing ruins the Southern part of that structure.

“I am going to the store.” works to show intent or in answer to a question about   where a character is going. (There is nothing wrong with using present progressive tenses.  We have a variety of tenses, just as we have a variety of tools in our writing tool boxes.)

Example A:

“Why are you wearing your coat?” Bill asked. ” You don’t need to go anywhere.”

“I am going to the store.” Jean grabbed her keys, glaring at him.

I could have said,

Jean glared at Bill as she grabbed her keys.

or

 Glaring at him, Jean grabbed her keys.

Example B:

“I am going to the store tomorrow.”

or

 “I will be going to the store tomorrow.”

might sound better as  “I’ll go to the store tomorrow.”

Some of the following sentences need fixin’.

I’d love your input! (hint, you might need to replace one sentence with two.)

Example C:

“But we speak that way,” you might object, slamming the door and putting your coat on.

Example D:

Sam heard the bear roaring as he was running into the forest and trampling the small plants in his way.

Example E:

Eating a good breakfast is good when one is dancing for exercise.

Example F:

Sue stared at Greg’s broad shoulders, wanting to run her hand through his shaggy hair and his chiseled cheekbones.

Example G:

 He saw a building walking around a corner.

Example H:

 Share a bad use of an –ing verb that made you sputter!

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5 Comments

Filed under Craft

5 responses to “Love Me Some “ing” Verbs.

  1. Great blog, Mary. I found Example G particularly funny. Buildings can’t walk around corners. My rewrite: He saw a building as he walked around a corner. Or Walking around a corner, he saw a building.

    Like

  2. My favorite one is the old joke about shooting an elephant in my pj. That one always makes me laugh.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Author M. J. Flournoy and commented:
    MM is a great editor and she knows I really love the ing verbs when writing.

    Like

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