"Sports teaching at the college doesn't even approach the required standard".

This sentence has been taken from Cambridge Dictionary. To know the meaning of "approach" I searched in this dictionary and I found this sentence.

What would happen if I wrote "Teaching sports at the college..." instead of "Sports teaching at the college.."?


'Sports teaching' would serve as a 'compound noun' there. But if you rewrite in your way, 'teaching' and 'sports' will make two different words.

It'd look more like you are the teacher, and sharing your experience as the sentence starts with 'teaching'.

Imagine, you are a coach and you also run a private academy. Now the conversation may go like -

"Yeah, I'm a sport teacher. I teach sport at both college and my private coaching class."

"Oh, I see! Do you find any difference?"

"Certainly! Teaching sports at the college doesn't even approach the required standard!"

"Why so?"

"Because of lack of required sports accessories. At my academy, I have enough of them!"

On the other hand...

"Sports teaching at the college doesn't even approach the required standard".

talks about the straight statement i.e. your observation. Something like -

"Healthcare has become an industry now."

  • "Marrying a girl does not mean that you can do everything with her whatever you want". Can I write "A girl marrying does not mean .... ......", though the meaning of it will be different? I think the later would be wrong. Because "A girl marrying" means "A girl who is going to marry" or "A girl who married". But "marrying a girl" means a male married a girl. Please tell me when word inversion like "sports teaching/teaching sports" are legal and when they are illegal. – Nazmul Hassan Apr 9 '16 at 6:27
  • 1
    Compound nouns are tricky. And, not all two different nouns put together make a sensible compound noun! You just discovered the one. – Maulik V Apr 9 '16 at 6:57

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