I don't understand "the meaning is that of a noun" here

In compound nouns using the gerund, it is clear that the meaning is that of a noun, not of a continuous verb

I don't understand the structure of this fragment. Please explain how it works.

  • Please give more context Oct 28, 2020 at 1:57
  • this, that, these, those are "determiners / pronouns" (they "stand in" for actual nouns). In your context, the meaning is the meaning of a noun. In contexts like this, the word that is always "optional" - so, for example, the optional second occurrence is omitted in the cited example: the meaning is that of a noun, not that of a continuous verb (where either, both, or neither instances of the word that might be present / omitted). Oct 28, 2020 at 17:04
  • 1
    Not the best sentence in the world.
    – Lambie
    Jan 19 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


The word "that" is a pronoun, and it refers to "the meaning". Writing out in full you get:

... the meaning is the meaning of a noun...

It is rather badly expressed. The overall sentence says that the gerund's meaning is not the same as the meaning of the participle in the present continuous construction.

I don't think I'd choose to use this text book to study English grammar.


"the meaning is that of a noun" means that the type or kin=d of meaning conveyed in this situation is the kind normally provided by a noun, notmthe kind provided by a verb. Tis construction is common in academic writing.

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