1. Stuart Farrimond

    Stuart Farrimond New Member

    Nov 13, 2014
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    Grammar When not to use the gerund

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Stuart Farrimond, Nov 13, 2014.

    I have the sentence:
    "...these are just some of the threatening headlines we are facing on a weekly basis..."

    But I know it sounds a lot better when 'we are facing' is changed to 'we face' :

    "...these are just some of the threatening headlines we face on a weekly basis..."

    But I can't understand why this is. Can anyone explain?

    I think the word 'facing' is a gerund word (please correct me if I'm wrong) whereas 'to face' is a verb. Generally speaking, should I make efforts to use a verb, rather than an '-ing' word to keep my writing punchy and engaging?
  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Aug 27, 2014
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    A gerund is a noun, as in "I like facing West"...facing West is a thing, a noun, which I like.

    "We are facing" is using the word facing as a verb (present participle), and implies an immediacy (it's what we're doing NOW), whereas "we face" implies a more ongoing action.
    BayView likes this.
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Yeah, that's not a gerund, not in that context.

    I agree that in the context of your example, "we face" fits better - as Shadowfax said, "we face" suggests continuous action, which sounds like what you're talking about if the thing is happening "on a weekly basis".

    I really should have just said "I agree with Shadowfax".
    Shadowfax likes this.

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