rumble vs rumbling

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Super Saiyan

Senior Member
Hi, you're walking along the road, a train is passing by, you say "I can hear the rumble of a train passing by." or "I can hear the rumbling of a train passing by."

Which one do you use? What is the difference between them because rumbling can be a noun and rumble can be a noun?

Thank you for your help.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It would be more natural to use rumble. If you use rumbling you make your statement more about the type of sound than about the fact that there’s a train passing.


    Senior Member
    British English
    There's very little difference between them that I can think of in that sentence - but LB makes a good point.

    Rumble and rumbling tend to be used a bit differently, but I can't think of any simple rule,

    The -ing form is often used to emphasise an ongoing event, rather than a momentary occurrence.

    A moment ago, I heard a rumble, but it has gone now. Did you hear it?

    The rumbling lasted several minutes, and I thought of earthquakes.

    The -ing verb form is also used to emphasise that something is happening right now.
    Your tummy is rumbling (right now).
    My tummy rumbles (sometimes, but not necessarily at the moment).
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