Without them knowing

Without them knowing
Without them knowing

The phrase ‘without them knowing’ seems widely used despite the debate about its grammatical correctness. Those who object to this form argue that ‘knowing’ is a kind of gerund, which should not follow an object pronoun like ‘them’, but a possessive pronoun like ‘their’. Those who support this phrase maintain that ‘knowing’ here is a form of present participle, similar to a gerund, so that it is fine to use it to modify the pronoun ‘them’. There are many other cases following a similar pattern – combining object pronoun with a verb in -ing form. Above are some examples.

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