Is it correct to change, for example:

The people who like money too much must be kicked out of politics.


The people liking money too much must be kicked out of politics.

  • I think the sentences can be made better with other words/structure. Something like "Money-grubbers should be kicked out of politics..." "Corrupt people should be..." etc.
    – Maulik V
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:27
  • 1
    Okay, to answer..the second one seems improper! Continuous verb is not good there.
    – Maulik V
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


The people liking money too much must be kicked out of politics.

In the jargon used in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, the boldened part is called a "gerund-participial clause". It serves as a "post-head modifier" to "people". According to the authors, it is not a relative clause because we can't add a relative phrase:

People (*who) liking money too much...

The problem with gerund-participials in this position is that they make no noticeable distinction between progressive and non-progressive interpretations. Compare

People solving these equations are smart.

No distinction is made between people "who are solving these equations" right now (progressive) and people who "solve these equations" regularly (non-progressive).

With liking, it would be strange to imagine people "who are liking money" right now (in the progressive way). Since the gerund-participial allows for both interpretations, the sentence looks a bit awkward, although understandable.

You could get rid of "liking" and pick some adjective instead:

The people too enamored with money must be kicked out of politics.

(All I could come up was "concerned", but after TRomano's comment I changed it to "enamored", which is closer to "liking")

  • 1
    Beautiful explanation. (but "concerned with" doesn't punch anyone in the gut). Feb 7, 2015 at 11:54
  • @TRomano - I see: "concerned with" is too neutral. Thanks for the comment! I'll try to come up with a stingier alternative. Feb 7, 2015 at 13:23
  • 1
    In this case, we must move "too much" in front of the adjective: "too enamored with money..." Feb 7, 2015 at 13:28
  • The second sentence is is totally unidiomatic in standard American and probably standard British English. The reason is that the use of the continuous/progressive with to like grates on the ear, especially in this kind of construction. Because of this we don't even get to the idea that it could be ambiguous in meaning. You would sound markedly non-native, presumably speaking a variety of Indian English, but it may not be unidiomatic in Indian English. Aug 6, 2016 at 15:02

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