Is this sentence ok? (Read aloud the following dialogue...)

Hi, please have a look at this:

Read aloud the following dialogue, paying attention to the sound /tr/ and /dr/

=> Is the present participle “paying” here ok? or should it be change into “pay”?

The present participle is appropriate here. The sentence can also read:

Read aloud the following dialogue, while paying attention to the sound /tr/ and /dr/.

But we often leave out the word “while”.

It wouldn’t be grammatical if you changed the verb form to “pay”, unless you preceded it with “and” or used “pay” to begin a new imperative sentence.

Yes, this is also possible:

“Read aloud the following dialogue, and (in doing so (,)) pay attention to the sound /tr/ and /dr/.”

Hi Molly, why “in doing so” and not “on doing so”?

Many thanks

Prepositions are unpredictable, and we simply say “in” in that phrase.

Be aware, however, that the phrase “in doing so” would not be included in those instructions, which is why Molly put it in brackets.

I imagine both are OK. “With in doing so” the speaker probably sees the action as a period (durative) in time and with “on doing so” as a point in time.

in doing so = in/during doing that period
on doing so = on the point/at that point


Could we use either here?

“Kuhn started his academic career as a physicist and then turned his attention to history of science. In/On doing so, he found that his preconceptions about the nature of science were shattered.”

Hello Nessie,

“In doing so” implies “while doing so”. “On doing so” would imply “at that point in time”, as M. says.

The latter would sound odd, in the context of “reading a dialogue”, since that doesn’t imply a “point in time”.

Best wishes,


For whom does it not imply that? “He read the dialogue” can certainly be perceived as a punctual. And “on doing/reading that …” can also have the punctual meaning of “as a result of having read that”.

"On reading Berwick’s letter, he at once appointed me one of his aides-de-camp. … /18349.htm

Reaux was reluctant to commit his agency’s resources to uranium-related health hazards because the cost seemed open-ended. But on reading Payne’s findings, he recommended that the health service "get involved in determining if there are contaminated water sites in Cameron … … ory?page=4

If that were the case, it would not make sense to say “pay attention to the the sound /tr/ and /dr/”.


If you say so, Mr P.

Well, I don’t find that meaning in it. But if your native-speaker intuition tells you it’s a possibility, I’ll leave you to it.


The child in you comes out at this time of night, right? Do you think anyone is really interested in your sniping?

Your proficiency in the language is island bound, right?

Well, since you’ve now deleted this comment from your earlier post:

you presumably no longer agree with it. So we are in accord.


In your dreams.

Thank you very much, everybody :slight_smile:

Now let me try making some of my own examples and please give them a judge:


  • In making the cakes, I put salt instead of sugar into the flour
  • In buying the clothes at the mall, she came across him
  • Don’t talk in eating!


  • On arriving at the airport, I remembered I had left my purse at home
  • Sarah, on finishing that report, come to see me right away

=> And so, whether we say “in + doing sth” or “on + doing sth” depends on the verbs? (which express the idea of “during that time” or “at that point”?)


P.S: Is the use of “judge” in my sentence right or wrong?

Hello Nessie,

I’m not sure the rule for “in doing so” can be extended to other verbs; usually, “in doing so” is only used to refer back to an earlier action, e.g.

  1. He reached for the marmalade, and in doing so [i.e. “in reaching thus”] knocked over the mug of coffee.


  1. In making the cakes, I put salt instead of sugar into the flour ] better to say “while”.

  2. In buying the clothes at the mall, she came across him. ] no; “while”.

  3. Don’t talk in eating! ] no; “while” again (or more probably, “when you’re eating”, “with your mouth full”).

  4. On arriving at the airport, I remembered I had left my purse at home ] fine!

  5. Sarah, on finishing that report, come to see me right away ] “on + -ing” is less common in speech; more likely, “when you’ve finished…”

(Not quite right! “A judge” is a person, not an act of judgement.)

Best wishes,


How about:

The girl may have thought she was being an independent modern woman of some sort, partners with her boyfriend rather than a purring feline standing under the awning. And in thinking so she may have been partially correct. … &comview=1

“I think he wants much more, but in wanting so he comes across as a bit bolshy.”

:roll: :roll:

Let’s have a look at my original sentence (with Molly’s idea):

I think this refers to “while” rather than “an earlier action”…

So what about this, MrP? “Please judge them”?

Thank you very much

Sorry, it was a little unclear! I meant an action “earlier” in the text…

“Please judge them” is fine, grammatically, but might sound overly formal in a forum context. (I’m not sure I can think of an alternative with “judge”; but “check” would be fine.)

All the best,


Hi MrP,
I think I understand what you meant about the earlier action in the text. I’m just still unclear about the use of “in doing so” and “in + V_ing”…