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Reply to "comfortable ~ing"

Hi, KDog,

@KDog posted:

I ran into the following sentence and had a question about how to use the word 'comfortable' in a sentence.

a. Americans have always been quite comfortable getting their food on the streets.

I was just curious about whether a gerund can be used after 'comfortable.' I know it can be used after 'comfortable', otherwise it wouldn't be written that way in a book.

But when I looked up the word 'comfortable' in dictionaries (Longman/Oxford/Macmillan/Cambridge/Collins), I couldn't find the example sentences in which 'comfortable + gerund' is used. All I can find is 'comfortable with/about sth.'

So my question here is 'with' or 'about'  is omitted between 'comfortable' and 'getting' in the sentence above?

Actually, "getting" is a present participle there. If it appears after a preposition like "with" or "about," then it can be called a gerund, because it resembles a noun.

There are lots of examples of "be/feel comfortable + V-ing." See, for example, this short list.

Without a preposition, the V-ing refers to the subject and can be placed at the beginning. Instead, no such placement is possible with a preposition, in which case it is possible to refer to somebody else or to give more nominal force to the V-ing:

b. He feels comfortable getting his own food.

b1. Getting his own food, he feels comfortable.

c. He feels comfortable with their getting their own food.

d. He feels comfortable with getting his own food (=with the procurement of his own food).

Though syntactically different, (b) and (d) are similar in meaning.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator
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