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Which of following sentence make more sense?

1- I am worried about whether my student caught the gist of the lesson or not.

2- I am worried about the understanding of the lesson by my student.

3- I am worried about my student not being taught the lesson.

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  • I don't understand how your question goes along with the title of your question. – J.R. Nov 27 '16 at 9:08
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    The first sentence is nicely idiomatic and easy to understand. The second one uses gerunds (understanding) in a passive way (by my student), which sounds very contrived. The third is understandable, but suggests that maybe the student didn't attend the lesson. There is an important difference in emphasis between learning and being taught. – JavaLatte Nov 27 '16 at 9:23
  • Does the third sentence make sense If I rewrite it as " I am worried about my student not being taught the lesson very well" – Hamid Nov 27 '16 at 10:57
  • Yes, to worry about. About is the correct preposition here. – Lambie Nov 27 '16 at 23:21
  • I am worried about whether my student understood the lesson or not. It's this simple. – SovereignSun Nov 28 '16 at 8:03
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You asked which of those three sentences makes the most sense, but I'd say it's more about context and it also depends on what you want to say.

Your sentences:

1- I am worried about whether my student caught the gist of the lesson or not.

Here, this sentence is idiomatic and understandable to all. You have used the preposition 'about' correctly.

2- I am worried about the understanding of the lesson by my student.

This sentence would seem to be clumsy and less idiomatic than the first sentence. Because there is the combination ing-form 'understanding' and 'by my student' (passive voice) in the sentence. I think you could re-write it as follows:

I'm worried about my student's understanding of the lesson.


3- I am worried about my student not being taught the lesson

This sentence is completely different in the meanings,

There is the use of passive gerund form (Being+past participle) in this sentence. And this sentence implies that the teacher didn't teach the students. It can also imply that the students might have attended the lesson in class but they weren't teached about the lesson. In another words, the students attended the lesson without being taught. This sentence is just like as follows:

I'm worried about my students whom the teacher didn't teach.

I'm worried (now) about my students because they weren't taught the lesson (in the past).

I think you could also say "I worry (now) about my students not being taught (now or in the future) the lesson".

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    The original question asked about a singular student. Do you want your answer to be about a singular student, or about (plural) students? – Jasper Nov 27 '16 at 19:13
  • @jasper It's less importand wheather my answer is about a singular student or plural students, more importand thing is to understand why I wrote plural 'my students' rather than 'my student', I'd think My student alone isn't as idiomatic as 'my student, john', But there isn't the mention of student's name in the question, so, I have written plural 'students'. If there was the name of a student, I'd write ''I'm worried about my student, john, not being taught the lession." – yubraj Nov 28 '16 at 11:19

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