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I wrote the below paragraph in an essay, the examiner commented that use of "development of" was wrong and "developing" was recommended. Could you please help me why ?

In conclusion, I should say although there may be many merits to development of a faster means of transportation, it is not farsighted to prioritize it above reduction of fume emissions and its affordability to the public which are closely connected to sustainability of our cities and living environment.

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    Wow, it sounds like that examiner was pretty picky. Maybe he thought "developing" was a more "active" choice than "development of", and English teachers do favor those active verbs. But I don't see much difference there. Is it possible he was looking for an article (like "the") before "development"? -- And recommended "developing" since it doesn't need an article.(?) Later on in the paragraph, "sustainability" would also sound slightly more idiomatic as "the sustainability", but those are very minor criticisms, and not absolutely mandatory. I don't understand his comment either.
    – Lorel C.
    Dec 28, 2018 at 20:31
  • @LorelC - I think you are onto something. I was basically saying the same thing in an answer.
    – J.R.
    Dec 28, 2018 at 20:35
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    I think that developing is somewhat better than the development of, because it is active and succinct -- especially considering how long the sentence is already. I would say it's a good examiner who'll take the time to recommend subtle improvements.
    – Ringo
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:43
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    Regardless of what's "correct" or "incorrect", that's a very complex, hard to parse sentence. It would probably be much easier for your reader if you broke it down into two or even three simpler sentences. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "not farsighted". Literally, it would mean "near-sighted or exhibiting normal vision" but it's unclear whether you really mean that, or just "near-sighted". Dec 29, 2018 at 5:49

1 Answer 1

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Your examiner is right, although there is more than one way to solve the problem. One is to follow the examiner's recommendation:

Although there may be many merits to developing a faster means of transportation...

Another way is to add a definite article:

Although there may be many merits to the development of a faster means of transportation...

You could even add some kind of comparative clause:

Although there may be many merits to a more rapid development of a faster means of transportation...

This pattern seems to hold for at least some other verbs that are changed to nouns by adding -ment.

  • Although there may be many advantages to fulfilling a dream...
  • Although there may be many advantages to the fulfillment of a dream...
  • Although there may be many advantages to a less immediate fulfillment of a dream...

But I think this one is more awkward and should be avoided:

  • Although there may be many advantages to fulfillment of a dream...
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