1. Climate change is a phenonmenon that affects all people in the whole world
  2. Climate change is a phenomenon affecting all people in the world

I guess the meaning difference is tiny, if so, what are they stressing?

2 Answers 2


Consider the difference between these two sentences:

  • I eat meat.
  • I am eating meat.

The first is a general statement. It means it is something I do, but not necessarily right now. The second very specifically means I am doing it right now.

"Climate change affects people" could mean that, at some point in everybody's lives, we will be affected by climate change. Or perhaps just that the concept of climate change is something that everybody should be concerned about because it could affect them in the future.

But "climate change is affecting people" means it is affecting them right now.

  • But the question isn't about is affecting: it's about the participial phrase affecting.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 18, 2022 at 21:47

I don't find a difference in meaning between the first (with a that clause) and the second (with a participial clause).

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