Reply to "Bare infinitives"

To answer all parts of Tes's posting:


1. All she was doing was nothing but -ing

Google shows no examples of either all she was doing was nothing but..., all he was doing was nothing but..., or all they were doing was nothing but....

Sentence 2a),

We did nothing but running for gym in high school

is OK because "running" is the name of the school activity. It's akin to saying

We did nothing but drawing in our art classes; painting wasn't included

This is different from saying

He does nothing but draw fantasy figures all day

You may well have heard such a construction as 2c)

(2c) She did nothing but crying the whole afternoon. popular music. Song lyrics, which are a form of poetry, are not always a reliable guide to English usage. Writers of lyrics are always striving for artistic effect. That's what makes them fresh and appealing.

Marilyn Martin