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-tion vs -ing


DizelmanSuper Member!



How do I distinguish between cases when -tion word endings are best suitable VS -ing? E.g.: elaboration vs elaborating, creation vs creating, communication VS communicating, initiation VS initiating, implementation VS implementing.

How big a mistake is it if one uses them as synonyms?



12:22 PM Jun 13 2015 |

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Yeah I also have the same question.

Like I confuse translation with translating.

For example:

When you’re trying to learn a language, don’t just translate from your native language. Translating/translation can be harmful sometimes because…

In this case, should I use translation or translating?

02:44 AM Jun 16 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi Dizelman and CharmYou,

In my opinion, it’s not a big mistake to use them as synonyms. The meaning does not change signifcantly. 

When you use -ing, it can mean that you are the one doing the action/task, and when you use -tion, it means that the action/task was done (but not necessarily by you).

For example, “Communicating is important between you and your partner,” means the same as “Communication is important between you and your partner.” The first sentence is slightly more specific, and the second is more general.

Again, there really is very little difference between the two. Thanks for the question!



04:57 AM Jun 16 2015 |




Thank you :)

Have a nice day, Amy!

12:46 PM Jun 17 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi Yuri,

Listing nouns and gerunds alternately is perfectly OK. I do it all the time! For example, I might say, “I met my friend for lunch. We talked about her new job, my new dog, going for a bike ride sometime, and possibly taking a class together.” It’s very common to mix them up in a sentence and definitely correct!



11:45 PM Jun 28 2015 |