How is self-isolating coming along?

How is self-isolation coming along?

Are both these sentences grammatically correct? And if one isn't, why?

  • 2
    The first is not incorrect, but the second one flows better because it contains only one -ing word. The first contains a gerund and a participle. Mar 23, 2020 at 13:26
  • You could of given this as the answer.
    – user19179
    Mar 23, 2020 at 13:34
  • @GWarner I could have given it as an answer, but chose not to. Mar 23, 2020 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


we use "come along" to refer to the progress or state of something, as in "how's the project coming along" (how much progress have you made on the movie?/ what state or phrase is the project in?) so as you can see we need a noun in a question like that (like project, baby, etc)

we can make the noun out of a gerund (isolating) or using a suffix (isolation) but which one works better here? let's see

The gerund refers to the act or process of doing something - the activity itself and nothing further.

The -ion form of a root can mean the act of doing something, but usually leans toward meaning its result, effect, or manifestation - something that persists or evidences after the activity.

(ref: Difference between gerunds and nouns ending in -tion)

so do we mean "the act of isolating oneself along with its results and effects" or the "process" of isolation alone? the answer would be the former, hence the reason why -ion suffix works better here.

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