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Problem Solving tells us what you do.

Solving Problems tells us what you do it to.

Is there any other difference in meaning in the context of math word problems?

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  • "He loves nothing better than problem solving; or, "He loves nothing better than solving problems." Each sentence says pretty much the same thing. Dec 25, 2014 at 2:45

2 Answers 2

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In principle a connection of gerund and object can have three forms

1 the solving of problems (in Latin Grammar "problems" is called genetivus objectivus, i.e. "problems" corresponds to an object in a normal sentence with a finite verb.)

2 solving problems

3 problem solving/problem-solving

In 1 we have the full form with the and of. 2 is derived from 1 by dropping the and of. 3 is derived from 2 by putting "problems" in front position.

All three forms have the same meaning. Which form will be used is a matter of style. Form 2 is the common form.

Even "I'm solving problems" might be derived from form 1: I'm at/in the act of (the) solving (of) problems.

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Well, "problem solving" is a noun (or, when hyphenated, an adjective); but "solving problems" is a present-progressive tense verb with an object.

Thus, "He has good problem-solving skills." But: "I am solving problems", rather than "I am problem solving".

But these are only matters of syntax. In answer to your question, no, there is no difference in meaning.

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