I found that English language allows using of object - verb instead of verb - of - object to say probably the same. For example

code inserting

instead of

inserting of code

or so. And my question is, if those ways are really equal - or if is there any difference.

1 Answer 1


They are functionally equivalent. Note that "inserting" is not really a noun, it is a gerund. That means the verb's progressive form functions as a noun. So you have two nouns there, the first one functioning as an adjective. These are sometimes called attributive nouns.

Often people will rewrite gerunds to avail themselves of a "legitimate" noun, if one is available:

code insertion
insertion of code

But that is just a matter of style and taste.

Note that the shorter version may seem too colloquial for some who believe that brevity is somehow ungrammatical, but unless you wind up with a really outlandish construction using the attributive noun template (I can't think of any offhand), you really can't go wrong with the shortened form.

  • +.9 ... I'd add that VERBing OBJ is also acceptable, and usually preferable to OBJ VERBing. Mar 27, 2016 at 0:55
  • Hmmm, @StoneyB, Robusto. Good advice, but the assertion about inserting seems wrong to me. The inserting of code, The code insertion, The haphazard insertion of code etc, etc. Doesn't look like a gerund to me. It looks like a noun. Now if it was inserting code, that would be a different matter. Mar 27, 2016 at 14:34
  • @Araucaria Hmm ... I'm not sure I can go along with your rigidly reassigning PoS on the basis of syntactic role. After all, the categories gerund and participle (and gerund-participle!) are by definition ambivalent. Mar 27, 2016 at 14:55
  • @StoneyB ? Gerunds are verbs and participles are verbs. But nouns aren't. Verbs don't have determiners, nouns do. Verbs can have objects, nouns can't. But even if we try and wonk that (which is ok with me), it's now even odder to say that inserting isn't a noun, it's a gerund in these cases. Mar 27, 2016 at 15:37
  • @Araucaria What's reassigning in my previous comment, with determiner your but taking an object and modified by an adverb? Mar 27, 2016 at 16:01

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