We have a thing #1. Then we take the thing #1 and replace it with the thing #2.

What do you call the thing #1: replaced or replacing?

I feel, that the replaced one refers to the thing #1, because we replaced it with the other one, and the replacing one refers to the thing #2 because we use it to replace the other one.

P.S. In case you need my original sentence, that I had the trouble with, it talks about OOP, where a child class overrides its parent's method using the words "overridden" (3rd form) and "overriding" (v-ing) referring to the base and the derived methods in some way.

the method parameter of the overriding method must be a supertype of the method parameter of the overridden method, and the return type a subtype of the overridden method's one.


  • 1
    I think it would help to see an example of the sentence showing how you want to use replaced/replacing. The term "overriding" has a very specific sense in software development. The word "replacing" doesn't have that kind of specific sense, so it's difficult to say what would be idiomatic without seeing the context.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


Thing #1 is "(the) replaced (one)".

Thing #2 is "(the) replacing (one)".

The past participle of a transitive verb, when used as an adjectival modifier of a noun, expresses implicitly the idea that the noun has been {VERB}ed by an agent capable of {VERB}ing:

We fixed the broken window.

The broken window is the object of the past tense verb "fixed". We are the agent.

The window has been fixed by us past participle used in a present perfect passive construction.

Is this the fixed past participle used adjectivally window?

Yes, it is the window we fixed.

The window is now in the "fixed" state (as a result of its having been fixed).

Trump replaced Obama.

Obama was replaced by Trump, who was replacing Obama.

A child class can override a method in its parent class.

The overriding child-method can alter the behavior of the overridden parent-method.

override is a transitive verb. In "the overridden method", overridden is the past participle of override used as an adjectival modifier of the noun "parent-method". It expresses the state of "method", the thing acted upon. overriding is the present participle of override, and it is used as an adjectival modifier of the noun "child-method". It expresses the action or behavior of "child-method", the agent of the action, the "doer".

  • You've explained from multiple perspectives even, thanks! Very nice answer
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 14:07

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