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I have the following construction,

... a shortage of studies that cover the full life cycle.

I doubt if I should say

... a shortage of studies covering the full life cycle.

Or for

....another anchor which shares the same ancestor

...another anchor sharing the same ancestor

Which is the best option? In fact, I don't know when to use -ing in relative clause.

Can I always use the reduced relative clause with -ing in present or present continues cases? or it is just for present continues? Or for special cases of present?

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  • All of them are ungrammatical; the it is a mark of Extraposition, which can't occur with a noun phrase complement -- it needs a clause. Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 13:56
  • The problems in the samples are not the relative clauses. I'd choose the that cover form when I was dividing very long groups of A and B, to give the reader more breath: "Blah blah blah that cover even more blah blah." Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 14:12
  • Marco, whatever your Romance language is, your literal translation "it is observed" is not idiomatic in English. Also, you are asking for editing, which is not something we do here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 15:08
  • Originally a cross-post, now just a duplicate of ell.stackexchange.com/questions/335936/… Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 15:58

2 Answers 2

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Both versions of the phrases are correct and natural, and have exactly the same meaning.

Using the "which/that" form is slightly more formal than the "-ing" form, so would be preferred in writing, while the "-ing" form would be preferred in speaking. However the difference is very small, and both are correct and natural in both writing and speaking.

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You can't extrapose a noun phrase here, so those sentences should be:

  1. It is observed that there is a shortage of studies that cover the full life cycle.
  2. It is observed that there is a shortage of studies covering the full life cycle.

Both of those sentences are correct, though rather wordy.

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