the second is to ruin or ruining ...

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  • Jektor

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    "The second effect of stress is..." refers to a noun (something which is "the second effect of stress").
    Some options:
    "The second effect of stress is the ruination of a relationship...
    "The second effect of stress is the ruining of a relationship...
    "The second effect of stress is a ruined relationship...
    etc.
    ..
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Which verb form should be follwed ? to ruin or ruining? why?

    The second effect of stress is to ruin /ruining relationship.
    Pace Jektor, I actually prefer your first suggestion, Brown Poodle: The second effect of stress is to ruin relationships (or a relationship).

    Don't use the ing-form, unless you use an article, as in Jektor's second example.
     

    brown poodle

    Senior Member
    korean
    Pace Jektor, I actually prefer your first suggestion, Brown Poodle: The second effect of stress is to ruin relationships (or a relationship).

    Don't use the ing-form, unless you use an article, as in Jektor's second example.
    Do you mean that The second effect of stress is to ruin a relationship is correct ? If so, why can't I use ruining? grmmatically, I think after a be verb, both to infinitive and gerund can be follwed as a complement. For example,

    My plan is to visit Rome this summer or My plan is visiting Rome this summer.

    Am I right? If I am wrong, are you saying that I have to place the in front of visiting, such as My planis the visiting Rome?

    One more question is whether we can place the in front of gerund. Then, when should I add the?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Do you mean that The second effect of stress is to ruin a relationship is correct ? If so, why can't I use ruining?
    Because doing so would suggest that what is ruining the relationship is the second effect of stress, rather than the stress itself.

    Certainly both the infinitive and the -ing-form are possible here, but don't think you can alternate them without altering the natural meaning of a sentence like this one.
     
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