I'm wondering if both of the following ways are possible.

  1. Thank you for confirming my place on the English course STARTING July 5th.

  2. Thank you for confirming my place on the English course WHICH starts July 5th.

Can somebody tell me the difference in meaning or any other aspect between them? Is it just that one way is more formal than the other?

I have come across many articles in newspapers and books indicating the event which will take place with a verb ending in ing.

As Spanish is my mother toungue, we would literaly say " I have a meeting THAT starts at seven o'clock. " I have a meeting WHICH starts at seven o'clock ( this one is more formal). or "I have a meeting STARTING at seven o'clock " . But among the three, starting is by far the less common.

Can someone tell me the only possible ways in English and which one is more common?

  • The most common is probably just "I have a meeting at 7." Otherwise all three of the other options are (more or less) equally common, and equally "formal", and all mean exactly the same thing.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 15:51
  • I would prefer 1. In 2., I think that is better, but why not just avoid the problem?
    – user3169
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 16:35
  • @user3169 Not necessarily. If you put a comma after "course", you can still use "which".
    – Dog Lover
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


There's no practical difference. Both are fine.

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