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I have two equivalent sentences, intended for a brochure for a computer program. Which one is better?

  • To handle certificates manually is time consuming and expensive.
  • Handling certificates manually is time consuming and expensive.

I want the brochure to be short, easy to read and to the point. I also want to speak directly to the customer, and I prefer an informal tone. Which of the two sentences do you prefer?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The sentence that starts with the gerund handling is far preferable in my opinion.

In general, starting English sentences off with infinitives leads to awkward-sounding sentences, though it certainly does happen. ("Being or not being, that is the question" somehow has less force to it...)

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I would say that "Handling certificates manually is time consuming and expensive" reads better.

If you wish to use the infinitive, I'd suggest "It is time consuming and expensive to handle certificates manually" - but, in my opinion, this is still less elegant than the first example.

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