What's the difference between:

1) I will talk to you after I finish this.

2) I will talk to you after finishing this.

is 2) grammatically correct? What would be the name for writing the sentence this way?

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  • Well, 'finishing' is a gerund. I think there's a term for sentences that use gerunds, but I'm blanking on it. Two is definitely less formal speech, but I believe it's grammatically correct. I think the second version means exactly the same as the first, but it's less focused on the speaker. – Ed Grimm Jan 19 at 22:54

Beautifully different ways of saying the same thing

This amounts to two of a thing vs four halves of the same. Both of them basically accomplish the same meaning. The difference is in the way the words get there.

Verb tense & "past": Though both verbs are a form of "present" tense, using the word "after" carries a connotation of "past". So, when these two descriptions talk about the "past", this is part of the imagery described, not the verb forms...

'finishing': generic

The form "finishing" is a gerund—a verb functioning as a noun, depicting a continuous action. In this situation, "after" means "after [continuous action]" is completed. The special value of this form is that the verb has no subject, so the work being "finished" gets the emphasis more than the person doing it. It paints the picture of the job itself going and going and then it is finally completed, probably being "finished" by the speaker.

'I finish': specific

The form "I finish" is a punctiliar verb with a subject—a single, complete action, occurring at a point in time, done by a specific person. It paints the picture of the speaker having the work "finished", the "finished" work being in the past.

  • Although both are correct and kind of mean the same, If it's something I'm still working on, should I stick with "finishing"? It definitely sounds more natural. – user1777914 Jan 20 at 14:00
  • It really doesn't matter. Flip a coin and use both on a regular basis. Be diverse in your language. – Jesse Steele Jan 20 at 14:05

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