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"Properly adhering to established security procedures ensures that clients’ confidential information remains protected."

"properly adhered to established security procedures represents that clients' confidential information is being protected."

is 2nd sentence correct? i changed "adhering" to "adhered" in second sentence and following clause.

  • Your second version would be syntactically valid if you changed represents to represent (to match the plural "subject" security procedures). I'd also hyphenate adhered-to there. Compare Fully researching questions gets better answers and Fully-researched questions get better answers. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '17 at 12:08
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[Properly adhering to established security procedures] ensures that clients’ confidential information remains protected.

The bracketed expression is a gerund-participial clause functioning as subject of the sentence. The preposition phrase to established security procedures is complement of the verb adhering. Grammatically and semantically, it’s OK.

Properly adhered to established security procedures represents that clients' confidential information is being protected.

This sentence made little sense. One way of fixing it is to insert a comma after to (so properly adhered to becomes an adjunct) and change the matrix verb to ensure (as in your first example):

Properly adhered to, established security procedures ensure that clients' confidential information is being protected.

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In addition to implying an on-going activity of a verb, vs a verb whose action is completed, an "-ing" ending can effectively convert the verb to a noun. In the first sentence "adhering" is functioning as a noun (though you'll start a nasty argument from some people if you try to claim it is a noun -- "gerund" is the more proper term). With minor modifications it's possible to make your #2 work, but not as it stands.

Note that in the first sentence the prepositional phrase "to established security procedures" can be removed without changing the fundamental syntax or semantics of the sentence. The phrase is being used as a modifier (adjective) for the gerund "adhering".

The second sentence can be reworded as "Properly adhered to, established security procedures represent that clients' confidential information is being protected." In this case "to" is being used as, I believe, an "infinitive marker". The sentence is still a little awkward, as "that" is being used as a "determiner" rather than a regular pronoun, and the structure of that sentence does not make this clear until the reader gets a parsing error (due to his incorrect initial assumption) a few words further on.

(And as FF suggests above, you could alternatively change "adhered to" to "adhered-to" in the second sentence, making it a modifier of "established security procedures".)

  • " 'Gerund' is the more proper term" is probably at least as likely to give rise to arguments (from the gerund-participle lumpers of a CGEL persuasion and the ing-form multi-splitters of an ACGEL persuasion). – Edwin Ashworth Sep 21 '17 at 13:46

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