I don't understand the difference between each of the following pairs.

Example 1

  • A: My boss encourages his participating in conferences.
  • B: My boss encourages his participation in conferences.

Example 2

  • C: He is used to eat rice.
  • D: He is used to eating rice.
  • Can you clarify your examples. B is grammatically incorrect, as is C (unless you are anthropomorphising a spoon)... Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 17:25
  • @jimbobmcgee: "Encouraging his participation in conferences" seems to be natural to me. I don't understand why it is incorrect grammatically, could you post an answer for this question? Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 17:36
  • Fixing the typo in B (encourages) makes B read correctly. C is still incorrect, though. Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


B and C are both grammatically incorrect. B would would if you said

"My boss encourages his participation in conferences." - this could've been a typo on your end but just pointing it out in case. If you only say encourage it does not work.

Also example C: Saying "He is used to eat rice" sounds like someone is using a person as a slave to eat rice. It doesn't make sense. D would be the correct way to say it.

  • It was a typo. So what the difference between A and B? Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 17:49
  • This one is quite hard for me to explain, B sounds better to my ear and it sounds proper, however, I know that is not an answer that would help you to understand it. The way I could see "A" working out and sounding correct would be "My boss encourages him participating in conferences" However that has a different meaning to me.
    – Laskio
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 17:53

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