Propose

I got this question because I sometimes come across the phrase like "play a role V-ing" without the presposition "in." If the preposition in this phrase can delete, I wonder whether there might be any difference between (1) và (2) in meaning. If you notice any case in which the preposition "in" cannot delet or the presence/absence of the preposition leads to lớn a semantic difference, I would very much appreciate that type of information.

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Thank you so much!


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Gustavo, Co-ModeratorProfessor of Legal và Financial Translation

Hello, Yasukotta. This is the first time I see you here so, if you are a new thành viên as I suspect, welcome khổng lồ the Grammar Exchange!

My understanding is that the preposition "in" is mandatory when the noun "role" is not modified. In that case, "play a role" could be paraphrased as "be involved," & "in" is therefore necessary to introduce the area in which the action of somebody toàn thân (it could even be something) has some effect. Then, "in" would be obligatory in:

(3) What does this NPO do? Answer: This NPO plays a rolein proposing environmental policies.

Now, if the noun "role" is modified, then the adjective does not only express the type of role being played but also how important that presence is (in which case the verb phrase "play a + adjective + role" acquires full semantic value and does not require a complement). Although the use of the preposition is much more usual, we might find it omitted, to the extent that the V-ing phrase may be found at the beginning (even preceded by "by" to indicate theway in which the subject assumes an important role so that its presence becomes noteworthy):

(4) (By) Proposing environmental policies, this NPO play acentral (or key) role (in our community/country/etc.) => This NPO plays a central role (by) proposing environmental policies.


Hi, Gustavocontributor. Yes, I"m new here. Thank you so much for welcoming me khổng lồ the Grammar Exchange!

Thank you for your replay. I understvà what you said. I find it interesting that you canput the V-ing phrase at the beginning of the sentence as in (4) in your reply. I wonder whether the V-ing phrase can be put in a cleft-sentence and, if that is possible, what you would vì chưng with the preposition "in."

(1) It is in proposing environmental polies that this NPO plays a central role.

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(2) It is proposing environmental polies that this NPO plays a central role in.

(3)It is proposing environmental polies that this NPO plays a central role.

I would very much appreciate it if you could chia sẻ your thoughts!


Gustavo, Co-ModeratorProfessor of Legal và Financial Translation

Hi, Yasukotta,

You can điện thoại tư vấn me Gustavo. Our site has been recently moved to this new platsize &, for some unfathomable technical reason, any spaces within our names or between our names and titles have sầu been eliminated (I used lớn be "Gustavo, Contributor"). I trust this glitch can be fixed soon.

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In answer lớn your question, which is indeed very interesting, I find sentence (2) in your second post (next time, please assign a new number lớn any sentences in subsequent posts lớn facilitate reference) ungrammatical. That preposition forms part of the complement và cannot be stranded (placed at the end). However, if the preposition formed part of a prepositional (or multi-word) verb or verb phrase, I think that final position would be not only possible but necessary:

(5) It is proposing environmental policies that this NPO devotes its timeto. (I have lớn say that the gerund sounds strange in this case and I would very much prefer a noun: It is the proposal of environmental policies that this NPO devotes its time to.)

As regards sentence (3) in your second post, my feeling is that the cleft construction places so much emphasis on the gerund that the preposition "by" seems khổng lồ be called for:

(6) It isby proposing new environmental policies that this NPO plays a central role.