The Objective Participial Construction consists of two parts: nominal + verbal:
I saw the children speaking.
I foundthedoor locked.
The verbal part of the construction (a participle) is in the relation of secondary predication to the nominal part (a noun in the common case or a personal pronoun in the objective case).
The Objective Participial Construction performs the syntactical function of the complex object.
The Objective Participial Construction with the present participleis used:
The Objective Participial Construction with the past participleis used:
a) after the verbs of sense perception
(to see, to watch, to notice,to observe, to hear, to listen to,to feel, to smell, to perceive,to catch, to find)
I saw a small girl standing in the goldfish pond.
We saw the lions being fed.
Have you ever heard a nightingale singing?
She smelt something burning.
I watched them rehearsing the play.
They caught a student cheating in the exam.
Often he found herquietly weeping alone.
Verbs of sense perception can also be followed by a complex object with an infinitive, e.g. We saw him leave the house.
The construction with the infinitive implies that the action is complete. I saw him change the wheel means that I saw the whole action. The sentence I saw him changing the wheel can mean that I watched the whole action or that I saw only part of it. So, the participle in the objective participial construction can express both complete and incomplete actions. The infinitive is preferable when we want to emphasize that the action is complete.
I saw them cutthe tree down. It didn’t take long. (I saw them. They cut it down.)
I saw them cuttingthe tree down as I went past. (I saw them. They were cutting it down.)
But when we talk about a short action, we can use the objective construction either with the infinitive or with the present participle:
Bernard watched the horse jump/jumping over the fence.
We didn’t notice anyone leave/leaving the building.
The infinitive is preferred when there is a succession of actions:
I saw him enter the room, unlock a drawer, take out a document, photograph it and put it back.
(to see, to hear, to feel, to find)
I saw the offer advertised in the newspaper.
I saw Jane addressedby a stranger.
I've heard it said that they met in Italy.
I heard the writer’s name mentioned.
When I returned I found her gone.
We found the door locked.
b) after verbs with causative meaning
(to have, to get, to keep, to set,to start, to send)
Do you think you can get the radio working?
We’ll soon have you walking again.
The trainer had the players running round the field.
Try to get the car going.
Can you start (set) that engine going?
Doctor Jones often keeps his patients waiting.
She bumped against the table and sent the plates crashing to the ground.
(to have, to get, to make)
-when something is done by somebody else at the request of the person denoted by the subject of the sentence:
I have to get/have my hair cut.
Did you get/have your watch repairedyesterday?
You’ll never guess where I had/got the suit made.
I had/got my room papered.
-in cases where nobody is asked to do the action or something is done against the person’s will. Here the verbs to have/to get mean ‘to experience a certain event or state, usually unpleasant’:
We got our roof blown off in the gale last night.
King Charles I had his head cut off.
If you’re not careful you’ll get your teeth pusheddownyour throat.
-with the verb ‘to make”, when somebody / something causes a certain action or state:
He soon made his presence felt.
The objective participial construction after the verb to have is very common with will not (won’t), in the sense of ‘refuse to allow or accept a situation’:
I won’t have you telling/tell me what to do.
I will not have my house turnedinto a hotel.
c) after the verbs denoting wish, preference, (dis)like
(to want, to like, to hate)
I don’t want you arriving late.
I didn’t like him taking all the credit.
(to want, to need, (would) like, (would) love, (would) prefer, (would) hate)
Pamela wanted the carpet cleaned.
I’d like this drawing photocopied, please.
We prefer the lights turned down.
Exercise 33. Rewrite the sentences using the objective participial construction with the present participle:
1.I saw that Peter was leaving. 2.We saw that several boys were playing football. 3.I heard that people were arguing in the next room. 4.I don’t like that Jeff answers back. 5.We saw that her plane was coming in to land. 6.I don’t want you to miss classes. 7.I refuse to allow you to order me around. 8.I can’t make the machine work. 9. I felt that the stranger touched my hand. 10.I saw that she was crying.
Exercise 34. Complete the sentences using the objective participial construction with the present participle:
1.He saw a man ...2.I found a good-looking young man ... 3.I could even hear a bird ... 4.She watched the car ... 5.She heard the footsteps ... 6.I saw the door ... 7.She heard the children ... 8.He felt her ... 9.Did you overhear them ... ? 10.We imagine them ...11.He found himself ... 12.I won’t have my best friend …13.The wind sent the leaves …14.I hate Helen …15.Try to get the clock …
Exercise 35. Rewrite the sentences using the objective participial construction with the past participle:
1.His teeth are checked twice a year. 2.I have to get somebody to tidy my garden. 3.My hair is trimmed once a month. 4.Sam’s burglar alarm was fitted last week. I saw it. 5.The band’s new single was recorded yesterday. We saw it. 6.Their windows need to be cleaned. 7.I’d like my room to be papered. 8.I’ll never allow others to gossip about my sister. 9.Their house was burgled last night. 10.The poem was recited again. I heard it.
Exercise 36. Complete the sentences using the objective participial construction with the past participle:
1.Doctor, I want my heart … 2.I have to get the grass … 3.Can I have the bottle … ? 4.At last she heard her name … 5.If you don’t behave properly, I’ll have you … 6.I need my birth certificate … 7.I would hate my name … 8.When we came back we found the kids … 9.You should have your car … 10.I really want my house …