1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    What's the difference?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JJ_Maxx, Nov 26, 2012.

    Okay so I have noticed this a lot and was wondering what the difference is between the two sentences.

    EXAMPLES:

    [hr][/hr]

    AND

    [hr][/hr]

    AND

    [hr][/hr]


    I've noticed I can do this switch with a lot of sentences. What am I changing? Voice?

    ~ J. J.
     
  2. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    The robot adjusted his volume to continue speaking with him - suggests that the robot adjusted his volume and then continued to speak
    adjusting his volume the robot continued speaking with him - suggests that the two actions were done simultaneously - he adjusted his volume as he was speaking.

    Same with the second example. First - she leaned down first, adjusted volume second
    second - as she was leaning down, she was adjusting her volume.
     
  3. Wickedstorm
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    Wickedstorm Member

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    Yeah I agree with Evelon on this one it sounds like order of action is the difference.
     
  4. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Passive and active voice in first example.

    Both sentences sound passive in the second example.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no passive voice there at all... using an 'ing' ending verb does not make anything 'sound passive' either...

    to be passive, it would have to be worded like this:

    as an editor, mentor, and writing consultant, i usually advise new writers to not start their sentences with 'ing' phrases... they almost never make sense grammatically... and don't read as easily as direct action written in natural sequence...
     
  6. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Both examples by the OP are grammatically correct. They may not read as easily, but there is, in fact, a difference in meaning and this may be necessary at times to convey what the writer is meaning.
     
  7. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    The most common mistake with -ing participle phrases is that they imply simultaneity of actions and are often misused for sequential actions.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Those -ing words are present participles. They are a verb form often combined with an auxiliary verb to form compound verb tenses. What those verb tenses have in common is that they denote action spread over an interval. As such, they have less "punch" than the simple verb tenses that act in a past, present or future instant.

    Writing would be dull without them, but over-dependence on them leads to writing that lacks "crispness."

    Understand the subtleties of each verb tense you use in your writing. Several will be grammatically correct in a given sentence, but that does not mean they are interchangeble.
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    In addition to the points made above, there's a difference in these two in that in your first phrasing, the inference is that without the volume change, speech would impossible. In the second wording, the volume change is incidental.
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Thank you all for your input. I was noticing this option when starting a lot of sentences with 'he'. ;)

    ~ J. J.
     
  11. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I understand this in the way that the robot had to adjust his volume, otherwise the communication would be impossible, or that
    the adjustment presuposes communication.

    This seems to me a rather incidental, although from a robot's point of view "incidental" is senseless.
     
  12. barcelonic
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    barcelonic Member

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    Simply put...

    In the first example, the first sentence is stating that the head was lowered in order to continue speaking with him.
    In the second example, the same wasn't stated, yet was implied.

    On a personal note, i do prefer the usage of your second sentences over the first ones. :)
     

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