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In the following sentence:

The governor's assistant claimed to have unique psychic abilities enabling him to read people's minds.

How can we know to use a verb with ing form? Like "enabling" in the above sentence. Why we cannot say: "... psychic abilities (that) enable him ..."?

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Enabling is a gerund

When you see a verb used like this that ends with -ing:

like enabling him to read people's minds.

This is called a gerund. The verb enabling is actually functioning as a noun in this instance. All gerunds end with -ing just like the present participle.

It is completely acceptable to say either of these:

The governor's assistant claimed to have unique psychic abilities enabling him to read people's minds.

The governor's assistant claimed to have unique psychic abilities that enable him to read people's minds.

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