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There are quite a a lot of situations like this. But here I'll use just two examples.

The first one is with the word since. We can say: There have been a lot of flies since the street sweeper was put out of job, or There have been a lot of flies since the putting out of job of the street sweeper. For the former there is a complete sentence after since, but for the latter the part after since is technically a noun phrase. I know both would be okay to use depending on what part of speech is since, but which one is preferred?

Another case is with the word that for add-ons. We could say The thing that we see is falling off is not stationary. It should be also correct to say The thing that we see falling off is not stationary. But which would be the choice of preference?

closed as unclear what you're asking by anongoodnurse, Edwin Ashworth, Robusto, Drew, tchrist Oct 16 '14 at 3:25

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    "The thing that we see falling off is not stationary" is preferred over the other. Also "There have been a lot of flies since the street sweeper was put out of job" is more understandable. I don't have any sources to prove this though. – Renae Lider Oct 15 '14 at 20:28
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    “The putting out of job of the street sweeper” is not a comprehensible noun phrase. It’s barely grammatical, if at all. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 15 '14 at 20:33
  • The phrase "put out of job" is incorrect (or at best, very uncommon). You would more likely say "put out of a job". The phrase "the putting out of a job of the street sweeper" may be grammatically correct, but at best it's a huge mouthful that sounds wordy and uneducated. – Nick2253 Oct 16 '14 at 0:01
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There have been a lot of flies since the street sweeper was put out of a job

This sounds good.

There have been a lot of flies since the putting out of a job of the street sweeper

This sounds awkward because:

  • "Put out" or "put" is not often used in a "noun" sense. Even though "put out of a job" is a common phrase, "the putting out of a job" sounds weird. A word like "removal" or "elimination" sounds better.
  • Two "of" phrases in a row - of the job of the street sweeper - can be jarring - the usual tendency is for a sentence to end after the first of. If you can use possessive case in place of an "of" you probably should - ...of the street sweeper's job.

The thing that we see is falling off is not stationary.

This sounds like you are emphasing "is falling off" - i.e. the fact that it is falling off is unusual or significant and you are pointing this out to someone (i.e. it's happening or visible right now).

The thing that we see falling off is not stationary.

This sounds OK. If you are not emphasizing a currently happening or specific event of "is falling off", this sounds better.

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