Is there any difference between "getting" and "to be getting"?

Example "Trees getting cut down." and "Trees are getting cut down."

Is there any difference between these 2 sentences ?

  • 3
    Only the second is an actual "sentence", an independent clause; it has a finite verb (are) and can stand on its own. The first is merely a phrase or a subordinate clause which can act as a nominal. Sep 26, 2018 at 15:49
  • 1
    The second could stand alone in "headlinese": for example, as a caption to a photo.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 26, 2018 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Yes there is a difference.

Trees are getting cut down refers to an action that is in progress. Someone is cutting the trees. It is the form encountered more frequently.

Trees getting cut down can be used in the context of an intended action. To explain: If someone has decided to cut some trees down, they may be referred to as the trees getting cut down. The trees are still standing at the time of speaking. To put it another way, you would say "These are the trees getting cut down, those are the trees being left to grow.".


To my knowledge, we can't write (v+ing) without (verb to be) before it.

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