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Are there any differences between the following sentences?

  • People who live on their own are often feeling lonely.
  • People living on their own are often feeling lonely.

Other examples:

  • Those who go to the gym many times a week feel invigorated at work.
  • Those going to the gym many times a week feel invigorated at work.
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[1] People [who live in on their own] are often feeling lonely.

[2] People [living on their own] are often feeling lonely.

Syntactically, both bracketed clauses modify "people". The difference is that in [1] it's a relative clause, in [2] a gerund-participial clause.

Semantically, they are very similar and there's little to choose between them, though statistics show that [2] is more common than [1].

The same applies syntactically to your other two examples, though semantically it's the relative clause that is the more common.

  • Don't know why someone down-voted your explanation. Thanks anyway! I think you explained it clearly. Basically, they're both okay but one is more common than the other, right? – pilti Apr 1 at 16:20
  • @pilti Yes: that's correct. – BillJ Apr 1 at 16:32

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