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I really wonder and want to learn why actually the bold word "contributing" ending with -ing form in the following sentence. Shouldn't be like ", thus they contribute to enhanced productivity."?

Available MATLAB features and packages help programmers to focus on problem solving and allow high expressiveness when dealing with matrix computations, thus contributing to enhanced productivity.

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The version with the -ing form has the same sense as your rewrite. The only difference is the syntactical relationship between two sentences.

  1. Available MATLAB features [...] help programmers [...] and allow high expressiveness [...].
  2. Thus they contribute to enhanced productivity.

Your version is a complete sentence, which must stand apart from the previous sentence: a period or a coordinating conjunction or a semi-colon must come between them.

However, it seems that the author wants to make that second sentence the climax of a single longer sentence. To accomplish this he rewrites it as a subordinate clause:

  • The finite (tensed) form contribute becomes the non-finite form contributing
  • The subject they is deleted because it is understood to be the same as the subject of the ‘superordinate’ sentence in which the subordinate clause is now ‘embedded’.
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