Does the gerund clause 'finding money' indicate passive meaning?


1.It wasn't easy Finding the money.

in The gerund clause above sentence, Does it have a passive meaning? like,'money being found'


Posted 2014-10-21T07:39:43.763

Reputation: 1 677



It wasn't easy finding the money.

We may rephrase the sentence as

Finding the money wasn't easy. ("What wasn't easy?" - "Finding the money.")

Meaning, "the process of finding the money was not an easy process". So there's no passive meaning there.

The it in the beginning of your ogirinal sentence is used for additional emphasis and could be omitted. "It" basically equals "finding the money".

Sentences of this kind are called "cleft sentences". You can read up on them in M.Swan's "Practical English Usage", Topics 130 and 131. Or probably it is the so-called "extraposition" (kudos to F.E. and his remark).

We can also rephrase your original sentence as

It was not easy to find the money.


Posted 2014-10-21T07:39:43.763

Reputation: 36 949

"smoking cigarettes is bad for you" Here,what does the gerund clause mean? (Does it mean 'the action that the cigarettes is smoked) – Dinusha – 2014-10-21T08:40:28.353

The meaning is closer to "the repeated action" or "the habit of smoking cigarettes", because "cigarettes" is in the plural. But yes, it basically means "if you smoke cigarettes (or a cigarette), this action of smoking causes you harm". – CowperKettle – 2014-10-21T08:43:55.330

@Dinusa: this is most often a figurative use of "find". People are not actually searching for hidden money. They are trying to find a way to afford to pay for something when they are on a limited budget. So the underlying concept is of the effort of those who are seeking to save or acquire the money, rather than the money sitting somewhere waiting to be found. Money is the direct object of the finder's efforts to find. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2014-10-21T14:06:44.247


"Finding the money" or "smoking cigarettes" is in the longest form " the finding of money" or "the smoking of cigarettes" and I don't see anything that suggests the idea of passive. As such structures are based on verbs with an direct object it is technically possible to make up a passive formula but I have never associated "finding the money" or "smoking cigarettes" with passive.

A sentence such as "Cigarettes being smoked are bad for your health" has the same meaning, that's true, but it is a very unnatural way to express the idea. In fact, it is cumbersome.


Posted 2014-10-21T07:39:43.763

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