Fence or fencing


New Member
Hi, can somebody explain to me what is the difference between fence and fencing? I know the meaning is quite the same but is there a slight difference? Fence - material, fencing - around the house? Thanks a lot.
  • George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The fence is a specific fence. I have a fench arround my garden.
    The fencing arround the garden tends to be used in a less specific way. My fencing is just thick wooden staves with wires.


    But that may just be my interpretation.....


    Senior Member
    English - England
    If I want to put a fence around my house, I may buy a certain amount of 'fencing' from a store and then convert it to an actual 'fence' by measuring and cutting to size.

    fence is countable
    fencing is non-countable


    I purchased 20 metres of fencing in order to make two fences.
    Last edited:
    American English
    I think you have your answer, but there is also "to fence", and it's not a sport.

    We had to fence the pasture with the woods today.
    We went fencing yesterday to repair the fence after the storm.

    It's the action of making a fence.


    New Member
    It is the same as "to install a fence"? Or what should I say - to install, to erect, to build a fence or just "to fence"? Every verb mentioned goes well with fence, doesn´t it?
    American English
    Yes, it is similar, but can mean "to repair a fence" too.

    But, it's likely substandard, so I'm sorry for bringing it up.

    Standard: to build a fence / to put up a fence

    "erect" makes sense to me too.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are two transitive verbs based on "fence"

    "to fence X in" == (1) to restrict an animals' movements with a fence (2) metaphorical (dated) - to restrict a person's behaviour with too many rules
    e.g. "John, can you fence the sheep in? They keep wandering all over the road."

    "to fence off" == to enclose an area with a fence
    e.g. "The dog keeps running away - we need to fence off the back yard"