Simplifying Sentences with -ing Verbs

When simplifying sentences with -ing verbs, you must pay attention! Some can be cancelled; others cannot.

I watched the falling leaf.

  • In this case, "falling" is acting as an adjective.
  • You CAN cancel "falling" because it is not an essential part of the sentence.
  • The base clause of this sentence is "I watched the leaf".
  • This base clause is transivitve (SVO).

The movie was confusing.

  • In this case, "confusing" is also acting as an adjective.
  • However, in this case, you CANNOT cancel "confusing" because it is an essential part of the base clause. (It is the complement of "movie").
  • This sentence cannot be simplifed further.
  • The base clause is equative (S=C).

The leaf is falling.

  • In this case, "falling" is the 2nd part of a two-part verb, "is falling." (The helping word "is" and the -ing form of "fall" are working together to form the continuous tense of the verb "to fall").
  • You cannot cancel "falling", because "is falling" is the main verb of the sentence.
  • This sentence cannot be simplified further.
  • The base clause is intransitive (SV).


Instructions for the Quiz

Find the base clause.