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12/11/2008

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Jolyon Kay

What you saw was John, who happened to be crossing. So crossing is a participle, not a gerund. But the accident was caused by the crossing of the road, which happened to be done by John. So a gerund and needing a participle. The apostrophe helps you to distinguish between them in case of ambiguity, though I am not clever enough to invent an example.

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