"Another issue is adults pretending to be teenagers..." Or "Another issue is adults pretend to be teenagers..."

I am a little confused about these sentences above. Please let me know which one is right and why? Thank you! :)

1 Answer 1


They could both be right depending on the context. In the first case the sentence states that when adults pretend to be teenagers, then that is an issue (something to be concerned about). It implies nothing about whether, and if so how often, adults have pretended to be teenagers in the past or might do so in the future.

In the second case "...adults pretend to be..." is a statement of an habitual action. So the issue in that second case is that such pretending happens repeatedly.

  • 1
    second can be made clearer by rendering it adults that [or who] pretend… which makes it mean the same as the first. Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 15:23
  • +1. It's probably worth pointing out that the second sentence means "Another issue is that adults pretend to be teenagers...". In this sentence I think the that is almost obligatory; omitting it makes the sentence sound very casual IMHO.
    – ruakh
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 15:35
  • Full of the sentence is "Another issue is adults pretending to be teenagers so they can make contact with young people through social networking sites." Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 14:40

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