Wirtschaftsinformatik (Bachelor-Studiengang): Technisches Englisch (2. Semester)

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SM / CM, Kurs vom 01.10.2002 - 31.03.2003

Technisches Englisch: Grammar: -ing and infinitive: verbs + -ing form or infinitive (Verbs followed by the -ing form, Verbs followed by to + infinitive, Linking clauses with -ing and -ed participles), Conditional clauses (Conditional 1, Conditional 2, Conditional 3), Gerund (Gerund as a subject, Gerund as an object with certain verbs, Gerund after..., Gerund as Adverbial Phras), Describing cause and effect (Using cause and make, Sequence of events + causative verb, When clause).

  1. -ing and infinitive: verbs + -ing form or infinitive
  2. Conditional clauses
  3. Gerund
  4. Describing cause and effect

-ing and infinitive: verbs + -ing form or infinitive

Verbs followed by the -ing form

We delayed launching the product because of technical problems.
I look forward to meeting you again next week.

* In the expression look forward to, the word to is a preposition. Prepositions (e.g. in, on, at, with, from) are always followed by the -ing form rather than the infinitive.

Expressions + -ing:

It's not worth repairing the machine. It would be cheaper to buy a new one.

Verbs followed by to + infinitive

I have arranged to meet the visitors at the factory.

Passive forms:

The passive of the -ing form is made with being + past participle (e.g. being done):

Everyone likes being congratulated when they have worked hard.

The passive infinitive is formed by to be + past participle (e.g. to be done):

She expects to be promoted soon.

Linking clauses with -ing and -ed participles

Both -ing forms (participle 1 or present participle) and -ed forms (participle 2 or past participle) can be used to link two clauses,
allowing to be expressed economically:

The firm began to use computer technology.
The firm sped up its transactions.
The firm improved.

-> The firm improved using computer technology to speed up its transactions.

A new system was manufactured.
A considerable amount of expertise was required to manufacture the new system was considerable.

-> The expertise required to manufacture the new system was considerable.

We use an -ing if we wish to express these types of ideas in an active sentence, and an -ed form to express them in a passive sentence eg.:

active: The firm uses computer technology.

passive: Expertise is required to manufacture the new system.

Relative clauses with a participle are often used in technical descriptions.
They allow you to provide a lot of information about a noun using as few words as possible.

  1. The technology needed to set up a home network
  2. PC equipped with Ethernet adapters
  3. Network modem allowing clients to access the Internet simultaneously
  4. Data line linking client to server

We can use the passive participle as in examples 1 and 2:

We can use the active participle as in examples 3 and 4:

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Conditional clauses

Conditional 1

if / when + present, will / imperative / modalverb + infinitive.

If or when?

  1. I don`t think you'll have any problems, but call me if you do.
  2. Mrs Barton is coming this afternoon. Could you send her up when she arrives?
  3. We won't be able to complete if we don't modernize our production plant.
  4. Put that on my bill please, and I'll pay when I check out.
  5. I will feel very disappointed if I don't get promotion this year.
  6. Sales are low this spring, but they will improve when summer starts.


Some more sentences:

  1. If you finish everything that needs to be done before five, you can go home.
  2. Mr Lo probably won't want to go out for dinner if he has a meal on the plane.
  3. If it is their first visit to England, I expect they might want to do some sightseeing.
  4. I may go and visit their headquarters if I go to London next week.
  5. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
  6. What should I do if everyone is still talking when I want to start my presentation?
  7. If you go to Paris next week, I can give you the name of a good hotel I know.

Conditional 2

if + past simple, would / could / might + infinitive.


Imaginary situations:

The reason I can't contact them is that I haven't got their address.
But ... if I had their address, I would contact them.

The reason I work so hard is that I enjoy my job.
But ... if I didn't enjoy my job, I wouldn't work so hard.

The reason we are the market leaders is that we spend so much on R&D.
But ... if we didn't spend so much on R&D we wouldn't be the market leaders.

The reason I won't give you an answer is that I haven't got the authority.
But ... if I had the authority, I would give you an answer.

Conditional 3

if + had (not) + participate 2, would / could / might (not) + have + participate 2.


  1. If we had known that the company was in financial difficulty, we would not have done business with them.
  2. We would have won that contract if we had made a better offer.
  3. They would have gone out of business years ago if they hadn't invested in new technology.
  4. Would sales have been higher if the price had been lower?
  5. If we had waited a few more months, we would have saved a great deal of money on the new computers.
  6. The company would have moved earlier if it had found suitable premises.
  7. Would you have accepted the new job if they had offered it to you?
  8. If the flight had been delayed, I would have stayed at the airport hotel.

Positives and negatives:

  1. If our competitor had brought out their new model in the first quarter, our sales would not have held up.
  2. If they had not had technical problems, their new model would have come out sooner.
  3. If there had been an increase in VAT, demand would have dropped.
  4. If we had not launched an advertising campaign, our sales would not have risen.
  5. If the campaign had not been successful, we would have cut prices.
  6. If we had not brought out the new xyz 8181, our market share would not have gone up.
  7. If we had won the Best Fax award, we would have reached our target of 30 % of the market.

Mixed Conditionals:

if + had (not) + participate 2, would + infinitive.

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Gerund as a subject

Walking is good for you.
Talking in class is not allowed.

Any verb can become a gerund in this way.

Gerund as an object with certain verbs

I enjoy playing the guitar.
He delayed going to the doctor.

This can only be done with some verbs - you need to learn them!

Verb + Gerund without preposition
english deutsch
to stop
to finish
to delay
to fancy
sich vorstellen, Lust haben
to imagine
to consider
to avoid
to admit
to deny
sich vorstellen
in Erwägung ziehen
to miss
to risk
to involve
to practise
to enjoy
genießen, gefallen
to mind
to suggest
to give up
to put off
to keep (on)
etwas dagegen haben
to dislike
(I) can't stand
to mention
nicht mögen

Gerund after...

This can only be done with some adjectives / verbs / nouns - they also need to be learnt!

... Verb + preposition:

I apologize for being late.

Gerund after verbs
english deutsch
to apologize for
to insist on
to think of
to decide against
to prevent somebody from
sich entschuldigen für
bestehen auf
denken an, erwägen
sich gegen etwas entscheiden
jemanden von etwas abhalten
to thank somebody for
to succeed in
to dream of
to congratulate somebody on
to accuse somebody of
to warn somebody of/against
jemandem danken für
gelingen, Erfolg haben bei
träumen von
jemandem gratulieren zu
jemanden einer Sache beschuldigen, anklagen
jemanden vor etwas warnen
to look forward to
to be used to
to get used to
to contribute to
to object to
sich auf etwas freuen
gewöhnt sein an
sich an etwas gewöhnen
beitragen zu
Einwände haben gegen

... Adjective + preposition:

She is good at playing cricket.

Gerund after adjectives
english deutsch
to be good at
to be fond of
to afraid of
to be interested in
to be proud of
to be surprised at
gut sein in
begeistert sein von
interessiert sein an
stolz sein auf
überrascht sein von, über

... Noun + preposition:

They had no chance of being promoted.

Gerund after nouns
english deutsch
risk of
danger of
possibility of
chance of
opportunity of
Risiko des/der/eines ...
Chance, Gelegenheit
experience in
interest in
reason for
Erfahrung in/bei
Interesse an
Grund für
How about ...?
What about ...?
Wie wäre es mit ...?
Wie steht es denn mit ...?

Gerund as Adverbial Phrase

Apart from taking to long, cycling to work is too tiring!
Instead of sleeping he got up and went to work.
By learning vocabulary you will improve your language.
In taking the money she became a criminal.
On seeing his face, she knew something was wrong.

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Describing cause and effect

Using cause and make

cause + to + verb:

A date or event occurs which causes the trigger routine to run.

make + verb:

A date or event occurs which makes the trigger routine run.

Sequence of events + causative verb

The trigger routine runs, which activates the payload routine.

causative verbs:

The computer is switched on, which initiates the boot up sequence, which activates windows, which starts Microsoft Word.

When clause

When the trigger routine runs, the payload is activated.