dancing man

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dancing man

Post by navi » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:48 pm

I am talking with a friend about a man who is dancing on a stage. Another friend arrives and asks:
-What are you talking about?
1) We're talking about the man dancing over there.
2) We're talking about the dancing man over there.

Are '1' and '2' both grammatical?

Same situation, but the man is playing violin.

3) We're talking about the man playing violin over there.
4) We're talking about the violin-playing man over there.

Are '3' and '4' grammatical?

And can one use this sentence

5) Is that man French-speaking?
meaning: Can/Does that man speak French?

I don't suppose one could say

6) Is that man violin-playing?
meaning: Can/Does that man play the violin?

Gratefully,
Navi
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Re: dancing man

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:44 pm

1) and 2) are both grammatical, but 1) would be used in preference to 2) unless you were intending to disparage the dancer. '[Male] dancer' would be the best term to use if you were speaking respectfully about him.

3) and 4) are also both grammatical, but 3) would be the first choice of a native speaker.

5) implies that the questioner is not only asking whether the man speaks French, but whether French is his first language.

6) would not be asked by a native speaker of English. They would ask "Does that man play the violin?" or (if wondering whether they play professionally) "Is that man a violinist?"
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