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Analyzing the phrase "I feel it..."

A couple of examples using the phrase "I feel it" are: "I feel it happening", "I feel it coming together", "I feel it becoming better."

Why are all the examples above correct? Normally, for verbs ending in "ing" like "happening, coming, and becoming" they are considered present progressive. And the present progressive form requires "to be" in the verb. So, why isn't it obligatory to thus use the following structure:
1. I feel it is happening.
2. I feel it is coming together.
3. I feel it is becoming better.

Perhaps the second verb is not present progressive. If not, what tense is it? What part of speech is it?

Another question is, why not say, "I feel this"? I guess this question can be asked differently. The question may be, what does "it" refer to? Does it refer to the feeling, as in, "I feel it (the feeling)." Or does it refer to the second verb, "happening, coming together, becoming better."

I feel incompetent when it comes to explaining English...

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Your English is excellent and you ask a very insightful and interesting question. Here is my answer. The verbs in -ing that you cite are not in the present progressive tense. They are the present participles of the respective verbs. In English, a verb ending in -ing can be used as an adjectival phrase (think, for example, "the gently FALLING rain," "her FADING beauty.") So if you split the examples into their component parts - say, for example, "I feel it happening" - the grammatical structure is (subject noun "I") + (verb "feel") + (object noun "it") + (adjectival phrase "happening" modifying the object noun "it").

     

    "Normally, for verbs ending in "ing" like "happening, coming, and becoming" they are considered present progressive."

    ...and there is the mistake.

    When you add -ing to a verb, it can be used either as a gerund or a present participle. If it's used as a gerund, it can sit in the place of any noun. If it is used as a present participle, then it needs another part of the sentence to function. One example is present progressive, where it needs "am/is/are" to work.

    But there's more! It can also work as an adjective (the coming event) or as a participle clause. As a participle clause, it adds extra information about the object. In fact you used it like this, in your first sentence: "A couple of examples using the phrase..."

    If you add "is" to create a present progressive phrase, you have actually changed the structure of the sentence: "I feel (that) it is happening."

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