V n -ing
Structure III: Verb with Object and Adjunct
|Verb group||noun group||-ing clause|
|The two families||ended||the day||devouring pizzas and hamburgers.|
|The driver||killed||time||circling the area.|
|Verb group||-ing clause|
|Nights||were passed||nursing horrible sunburns.|
|A lot of time||was spent||talking on the phone.|
Verbs with this structure are all concerned with passing time in a particular way, or starting or ending a period of time in a particular way. Spend and waste are also concerned with ways of spending or wasting money.
Harry passed the time watching the waitresses as they glided discreetly around the tables.
The team started the day knowing a win would put them in second place.
In the case of busy and occupy, the noun group is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl -ing.
begin busy end finish kill occupy pass spend start take waste
He busied himself rinsing the washcloth.