When there is an existing noun (as memorization) could we use the ing to form another one (memorizing)?

If so, what would be the difference between the two concurrent nouns?

  • As a noun, I think memorizing is hardly used. It is much more common to use memorization. Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:53
  • In this specific case, yes. The gerund form, "memorizing," is used (as a noun, because that's what gerunds do.) I disagree that memorization is "much more common." Here is some evidence to the contrary: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 15:40
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    @Adam the n-gram graph is not enough because if you look closely (I checked the first page) you would notice that majority of hits for memorizing are not noun, they are verb. Commented May 17, 2017 at 15:56
  • @Adam Please perdon me, but it's not correct. In all your sentences except the first sentence, memorizing is not a noun, it's a verb. And I agree that the first sentence is not wrong, but it's more common to use memorization in place of memorizing, IMO. Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:14
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    @Adam yes. It's indeed a verb there. Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


Basically, yes. You can either use memorization or memorising as a noun. However, when there already exists a noun that carries the meaning you wish to infer I would recommend you use it:

  • The growing of plants is an exciting thing to research.
  • The growth of plants is an exciting thing to research.
  • Can you supply a reference that supports your assertion that "Verb+ing" acting as the subject of a sentence is not a gerund?
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:40
  • @Adam Well that statement is plain wrong, but I see no such claim in his answer :-O strange! Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:52
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    @Adam Check my edit. Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:15
  • "...selling different things" is still a gerund phrase, and selling is still a gerund. It seems like you are wanting to distinguish gerunds on their own from gerunds that have complements/modifiers/etc, but that distinction isn't correct. I like flying. I like flying quickly. I like flying with my dog. I like flying to the moon. I like flying on airplanes." In all of these examples, flying is a gerund, with or without modifiers and complements. A non-gerund use would look like "I am flying to the moon." Here flying is part of the main verb of the sentence.
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:30
  • @Adam selling in my second sentence is a verb in the Present Continuous tense. Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:34

Native speakers often use memorizing as a noun:

Understanding how these chemical processes work involves far more than memorizing. Memorization is required, to be sure, but memorizing alone doesn't lead to understanding.


Memorize is a verb, as in "He memorized his address."

Memorization a noun describing the process of committing something to memory.

Memorizing is already in use as a gerund or present participle of "to memorize." As in, "She is memorizing the lecture notes." Memorizing isn't used as a noun.

  • "Memorizing is already in use as a gerund .....Memorizing isn't used as a noun." That's what gerunds are - verbs being used as nouns.
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 15:34

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