"Why we should all be terrified of Donald Trump winning in November."



Why we should all be terrified of Donald Trump winning in November.

Shouldn't it be "of Donald Trump's" in this example? —since this seems to be a gerund rather than a participle.

"Of Donald Trump's winning" to me is the same as "of Donald Trump's win", while "Of Donald Trump winning" is similar to "Why we should be terrified that Donald Trump wins in November."

However it doesn't look like one would ever use that construction here so maybe that's the reason the objective was used? One of my online dictionaries says "rely on somebody doing something" were correct. So this would be another example of the objective + gerund construction although I have been told gerunds are never preceded by objective cases.


Posted 2016-03-25T15:06:09.493

Reputation: 313

I think some verbs can be followed by either "an object + ing" or "possessive + ing", having same meanings. For example, "I resent Donald wining the election", and "I resent Donald's winning the election". I saw such structures when the object was to write about how we think about an event. – Cardinal – 2016-03-25T15:14:19.313


Similar question: Wow! Nice! I smelled you baking cake!

– Damkerng T. – 2016-03-25T15:37:37.003

1It's certainly not true to say it should be of Donald Trump's winning. Technically speaking, that would be "valid" - but so is the "non-possessive" version in the title here, and there's no doubt in my mind that the non-possessive version is far more common, and sounds more "natural" for this exact context. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2016-03-25T16:58:52.040

I completely agree with this I have simply seen a lot of sources stating the gerund is only to be preceded by the possessive. – L.White – 2016-03-25T17:08:32.507

For me to fully understand this though I have to go back to question I asked a while ago over at language and usage. If you remember answering that, you said it had to be "our watching the movie" in the frankly odd example sentence I made up. Does one not need a "of" here or is this omitted in these structures? ( " Our watching of the movie"). Even though you said Donald Trump's winning is far less common I at least understand why its correct. If I added "election" to this it starts becoming strange to me. – L.White – 2016-03-25T17:24:32.457

( We should be terrified of Donald Trump winning the election) The objective case to me looks like its an adaption people made because its more convenient and sounds a lot less formal where the possessive should be the only option. – L.White – 2016-03-25T17:30:38.807

Just as a relative clause can refer back to an idea expressed (rather than to a particular noun) in the main clause, Donald trump winning is an idea here. There's no need for a possessive because "winning" is understood to have a nominal quality. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2016-03-25T22:11:18.933

Also, I think that while both TRomano and Omnidisciplinarianist are correct, this also sounds a bit like the title of an Internet meme, article, etc, to me, in which case, headlinese may also apply. As in, because it had been a headline, the author had been more inclined to use ellipsis or to use "Donald Trump winning." But this is just speculation without the source :O :D.

– Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-09T09:40:33.070



I believe the issue here is that English speakers have a habit of leaving off information when it can be inferred from the context. The formal word for it is Ellipsis. And here, we can infer by context the missing words, replaced in bold italic in the quote below:

"Why we should all be terrified of Donald Trump winning the presidential election in November"

Any American who has seen the news within the last few months knows that Donald Trump is running for president, and identifying the win as occurring in November further reinforces the fact.


Posted 2016-03-25T15:06:09.493

Reputation: 2 600

Way to hit the nail on the head. – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-09T08:53:32.070