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I'm not a native English speaker and I was wondering the difference between those two terms.

From what I understood so far 'group' is a generic word used to denote a number of persons/things considered related in some way. 'grouping' is used to denote a group of people sharing a common intent or interest.

Is this the case? It seems that 'grouping' has a more specific meaning and that 'group' can be used always in place of 'grouping' (because it's a more general term).

So in which case do you use 'group' and in which one do you use 'grouping' instead?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

When you use the word group your emphasis should be on the collection of things in the group.

How many people do you have in your group?

When you use the word grouping your emphasis should be on the act of forming the group rather than the group itself.

Which grouping would be better- girls in one group and guys in another, or else adults vs children?

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+1 for good example of a (fairly unusual) context where grouping is actually to be preferred. In cases where it's not so clear-cut as this, the generic advice should be to always use group. –  FumbleFingers Mar 1 '12 at 12:35
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Perhaps the thing that is confusing, is that "group" can be both a noun and a verb, and "grouping" likewise.

"Group" as a noun means the collection of things.
"Grouping" as a noun, is a gerund. A Gerund, in English is :"As applied to English, it refers to the usage of a verb (in its -ing form) as a noun." So, it's a verb being used as a noun! Maybe that's what's confusing you?

There is no difference in meaning whatsoever between these two nouns. The only difference, is their usage. That is, there are situations where one would use "group", but not "grouping" E.g.:

The group of people gradually grew in size.
I don't like the grouping system we have at work....

We cannot say, "I don't like the group system..." It's grammatically incorrect.

"Group" as a verb is to arrange into a group. To form a collection of people or items.
"Grouping" as a verb is the act of arranging the group in present time, E.g.: "I am grouping these letters together." Instead of "I am group..."

I hope that clears up any ambiguity.

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