Whish of these sentences is correct if I am talking about something that is currently showing:

  1. Some files are showing, which can be optimized.

  2. Some files are being shown which can be optimized.


2 Answers 2


Ignoring the comma in the first sentence, either of these sentences may be correct, depending on the context in which the statement is being made, but I do not think that I would use either of them. I also think that 'which' needs to be changed to 'that'.

I have had to create a scenario to provide a context for these sentences, because no context was provided.

Scenario. I am running a computer program that is designed to select, and display on a monitor, various files that need to be optimised in some way. A list of such files then appears on the monitor,

1/ If I am asked what is appearing on the monitor, I might say:

Some files are showing that can be optimized.

Although, I personally would rather say:

The monitor is showing some files that can be displayed.

2/ If I was asked what was the result of running the program, I might say:

Some files are being shown that can be optimized.

Note: 'Being shown' can be used like this because we know that the results will be shown on a monitor, so it is not necessary to say where they are being shown.

Again, I personally would probably say:

I am being shown some files that can be optimised.


You probably want to say, if files are found, that can be optimized, they are listed.

To show a file means to open it in a viewer (e.g. an image). So perhaps you instead want to say that a few image-files are shown in an image viewer, and that the images can be optimized for whatever (e.g. brightness and contrast).

Your sentences are slightly clunky, because the sub-clause "which ..." could be closer to the referent ("files, which ..."). I wouldn't say it's a syntactic mistake, I'm unsure, some might even prefer it.

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