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I am writing features for our product, such as:

  • Support to repair corrupt Outlook PST file.
  • Support to recover message body and subject.

...

Here Support is used as a verb instead of noun. It is an abbreviation of "Our tool supports to repair corrupt Outlook PST file".

A similar sample can be found in https://www.winzip.com/en/product/winzip/#features, where there is a feature "Organize your photos in the cloud". Here Organize is a verb.

However, the Grammarly extension in Chrome will always suggest me to change "Support to do" to "Support doing".

I try to search online, and it seems both are OK. And I see many software use "Support to do" as their feature lists as well.

So, just wonder which one is correct?

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  • 2
    Your product provides support for those utilities? May 22 at 11:09
  • 1
    Or support with doing something? May 22 at 13:58
  • 2
    Support as a noun works differently from support as a verb. Be clear what you're trying to say. Full sentences instead of short chunks are more valuable in discussing languages. May 22 at 14:58
  • @JohnLawler, here support is used as verb.
    – alancc
    May 23 at 3:51
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    You're correct that support to do is used more frequently. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Eden0516
    May 29 at 6:09

4 Answers 4

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'Support' can be used as a verb or a noun:

  • We support you (verb)
  • We give you support (noun)

Your bullet-pointed list of features uses it as a noun, and as a native British English speaker with 25 years of experience in IT support I would say the most idiomatic way to state this would be:

  • Support for repairing corrupt Outlook PST files.
  • Support for recovering message body and subject.

This is because the support is a permanent feature and presumably can be used more than once, as required. Saying "support to repair a file" could sound like you assume they already have a corrupt file and they can only use the feature once.

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  • Sorry but here I assume support is a verb. It is short for "Our tool supports to repair corrupt files".
    – alancc
    May 23 at 8:46
  • @alancc You've said supports just now, not 'support'. See the first two examples in my answer for the difference. I perceive that you are stating a feature of your software. A feature would be identified by a noun, or in this case, a noun phrase.
    – Astralbee
    May 23 at 9:00
  • Thank you. I check other software feature lists such as winzip.com/en/product/winzip/#features, it can use a phrase such as "Organize your photos in the cloud" where Organize is a verb. So here we do the similar thing, "Support to repair a file" where Support is a verb.
    – alancc
    May 24 at 3:36
  • @alancc no, "Organize your photos" would be equivalent/parallel to "Repair your files," not "Support repairing your files." What your software does is not allowing the user to support repairing files, but rather allowing the user to repair their files. If you wish to use "support" in that context, you would use one of the forms in this answer.
    – Esther
    May 30 at 14:24
  • @alancc if I saw one of the formats from your question, I would immediately think that it was translated from a foreign language by non-native English speakers, which is most likely the case with all of the software you found that follows those conventions.
    – Esther
    May 30 at 14:27
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To answer your specific question:

However, the Grammarly extension in Chrome will always suggest me to change "Support to do" to "Support doing"...So, just wonder which one is correct?

In your specific case, you should use "supports doing" as shorthand for "this product supports doing".

However, I think you are overcomplicating your writing.

The following is writing advice.

Looking at the Winzip site you provided as an example, we can see the following list of features:

  • More efficient file compression with duplicate file detection
  • Organize your photos in the cloud
  • Automatically save cloud files
  • Experience better Zipx Compression
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Teams
  • Access and edit files shared with you by others

Notice that none of them begin with the word "Support". This is because that word isn't needed and would be redundant. It would be visual clutter on the webpage as well:

  • Supports more efficient file compression with duplicate file detection
  • Supports organizing your photos in the cloud
  • Supports automatically saving cloud files
  • Supports experiencing better Zipx Compression
  • Supports seamless integration with Microsoft Teams
  • Supports accessing and editing files shared with you by others

Used in this way, "support" could be considered a filler word. The goal should be for each feature to be fully described in the most concise and clear way possible. Filler words should be avoided.

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The word "support" is not the right word to use if you're describing a product. When you're describing something that a product does, "support" is too weak or too vague. You can use it, however, when you describe something that a product tolerates or accommodates, rather than actively does.

For example, while you can say:

Our product supports repairing corrupt Outlook PST files.

You would typically say (at least in American English):

Our product repairs corrupt Outlook PST files. or

Our product helps you repair corrupt Outlook PST files.

But you might say:

Our product supports both single- and double-byte languages.

You might also hear support used more often when talking about services rather than products.

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Product support:

Our product repairs corrupt Outlook PST file.
It recovers the body of messages and message subjects.

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