When to use a verb, a propositional phrase and a nominalization?

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Many writing books say that it's better to use a verb instead of its nominalization, but it seems that most of the people, if not everyone, still use nominalizations now and then.

A group of examples:
Their performance didn’t give me any amusement.
Their performance didn't amuse me.

May I ask the rhetorical difference, instead of the grammatical one, between them?

Also, I've seen lots of prepositional phrases running around everywhere. To list a few:

in regard to
in opposition to
in possession of
in support of

To put in a sentence:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
In compare to: A single man who possesses a good fortune must want a wife.

I'm not sure if this is just a matter of personal preference, or are there other considerations for one's using any of them? What are they? And for the matter of personal preference, since to build such a thing, one has to be aware of some options first, so I would like to know how do you "feel" about the use of a verb, a prepositional phrase and a nominalization. What's your preference in what situation and why?

Thank you.
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Jane, your question is rather broad. I think it would help if you just focused on a pair of sentences - either the amuse/amusement pair or the want (v)/want (n) pair.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello, janexi. :)

    Please select a pair of sentences as natkretep suggests and start a new thread to ask about them.

    I'll close this thread to give you a fresh start.

    Cagey, moderator.
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