I came across this sentence:

He enforced the maintaining of all bona-fide transactions in clergy property, but advocated the revision of such contracts as might be proved fraudulent, and urged a concordat proposing that the state provide for the support of the clergy.

Maximilian in Mexico - Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 Sara Yorke Stevenson

Why would the author use maintaining instead of maintenance? I couldn't find maintaining as a noun anywhere on the net and I am pretty sure she is using it as a noun which again it seems is not one of the meanings of the wor maintaining.

Is this an old fashion word?

  • Don't assume something in print is well written. I think here they are trying to say that he wanted bona fide transactions to be continued, rather than that he thought they needed maintenance (so to speak).
    – ralph.m
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 4:25
  • 1
    It's just formal English, not a mistake. Commented May 29, 2023 at 6:36
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Why "rising" is used in "From here we can watch the ___________ of the sun" Commented May 29, 2023 at 7:09
  • Maintaining is a perfectly good noun. "The maintaining of a house can be expensive." Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


In the given sentence, "maintaining" is used as a gerund, which is a verb form that can function as a noun. While "maintaining" is commonly used as a verb, it can also be used as a noun in certain contexts to refer to the act or process of keeping something in a certain condition or state.

Using gerunds as nouns is a common grammatical construction in English, not old-fashioned or wrong. While it may not be as commonly used in everyday speech, it is still grammatically correct and can be found in formal or written language.

  • It is not a verb form functioning as a noun, it's a noun functioning as a noun. Commented May 29, 2023 at 20:28
  • @Araucaria-Nothereanymore. "Maintain" is a verb, add -ing to make it a gerund enables it to function as a noun.
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 9:23
  • No. A gerund cannot have a determiner and will take a direct object not an oblique. In OP’s sentence the -img form is a deverbal noun, not a gerund. Commented May 30, 2023 at 9:36

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