I proofread quite often and most of the time recognize lots of mistakes, but from time to time I see this usage of the present participle and it always makes me wonder what rules should I apply to see whether it's correct or not. Here are two examples:

  1. the key factor of restructuring is the scale of changes, taking place in the company

    I'm not sure, but it seems it must be like this:

    The key factor of restructuring is the scale of changes that take place in the company

  2. Restructuring is a process oriented at maximizing of the equity value of the company by means of internal and external improvements, radically changing the operation of the company

    and again I want to change that part to

    improvements that radically change

Please explain to me what kind of structure this is and what rules I should follow.

  • This is not a gerund. This is a present participle. A gerund is a participle that acts like a noun. Which is clearly not the case here. I have edited the question accordingly.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 18, 2015 at 8:57
  • Here is a picture of a bridge that spans the river. Here is a picture of a bridge spanning the river. Why would the second one be wrong?
    – phoog
    Jun 18, 2015 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


For (1), both alternatives are equally fine except for the comma. It makes no sense and forces the reader to parse the sentence wrong on the first go.

For (2), the first sentence says that it's the restructuring that does the changing (and the comma is fine), while the second says that it's the improvements that do that. Both are equally valid things to say, they are just two different things.

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