Is the preposition in necessary or abundant?

To be specific, which of these two sentences sounds better/is correct?

This helps in achieving better fuel economy.


This helps achieving better fuel economy.

I know of this question, however I am not sure how much it applies to my problem.

  • 2
    According to OED, "help in doing something" and "help (somebody) do something" are preferred.
    – Stan
    Mar 5, 2014 at 15:18
  • There's no saying of help sb. doing sth. Accroing to Oxford and Longman dictionary.
    – user75020
    May 13, 2014 at 9:35
  • Hello jojo. Can you be clearer: which dictionaries don't include the construction help [someone] doing [something]? I agree, it sounds strange to my ears. May 13, 2014 at 10:21
  • @Stan Can you please give the actual wording from OED? May 13, 2014 at 10:22

1 Answer 1


Both constructions are grammatically sound. In the first example, in achieving is a prepositional phrase the object of which is the gerund, achieving. In the second example achieving is a present participle. One spelling and two parts of speech! This would have a clear antecedent in context. For the sake of argument, lets say the this is referring to "careful driving." Why not use that antecedent and make the sentence clearer and more active: Careful driving achieves better fuel economy.

  • Thanks for the insight and advice - I agree in a simple case it is better solution to use only one sentence, but my previous sentence is already too long. Specifically, it says "Today many of previously mechanical controls, like steering or braking, are becoming replaced by Drive-by-wire electromechanical systems." As I read again through the text, the first version, proposed as correct by @Stan, sounds better.
    – Petr
    Mar 5, 2014 at 21:15
  • 1
    Then, "These systems help improve fuel economy." Mar 6, 2014 at 2:45
  • I had a different idea in my head, but after trying it the way you proposed, I admit it just works better.
    – Petr
    Mar 12, 2014 at 11:56

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