Fence or fencing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Mirka76, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Mirka76 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.
  2. 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.....
  3. Biffo 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: Aug 21, 2012
  4. Mirka76 New Member

    Thank you both, this is the explanation I was looking for;)
  5. perpend

    perpend Banned

    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.
  6. Mirka76 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?
  7. perpend

    perpend Banned

    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.
  8. Biffo 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"

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