2

Does the only difference is "being continuous"?

what is the difference in terms of meaning?

... with a symbol used to express ... .

... with a symbol being used to express ... .

3

"used to express" coming directly after the noun symbol could refer to the symbol's typical role, the role we see it in most often.

"being used to express" could refer to an ad hoc or a particular application of the symbol, to express some idea in a specific context, rather than in general.

The symbol used to express a warning to the user in that GUI is an exclamation point inside a triangle.

A symbol being used to express the idea of poison to a young child should invoke fear and disgust.

  • 1
    definite is indefinite in meaning, so I don't know what to say in response. I would say simple present often refers to things in general and progressive/continuous often refers to specific instances. He takes his shirts to the laundry. He is taking his shirts to the laundry. He used to wash his own clothes, but now that he has moved to a smaller apartment, he is taking his shirts to the laundry. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 23 '16 at 9:52
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    He takes his shirts to the laundry. It is his normal practice. He is taking his shirts to the laundry. Where's Tom? He just went out. He's taking his shirts to the laundry. And even when the continuous is used to express a general truth, as we have with the smaller apartment example, it still retains a specific spin; there is an exceptional circumstance the pulls the statement from general truth towards a more specific reality. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 23 '16 at 10:01

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