1

A growing number of languages are on the verge of becoming ...

  1. endangered
  2. endangering

I know that when we discuss personal feelings we should use -ed. -ing is used when we talk about things that causes these feelings.

None of the rules fit this example.

Which one should I use here?

Here's the full sentence:

As economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, a growing number of languages is on the verge of becoming ... and, eventually, extinct.

  • 1
    Where did you hear the rule that personal feelings use -ed and the causes use -ing? That doesn't sound like a reliable rule at all... – curiousdannii Jan 6 '16 at 10:56
  • 1
    Nothing whatever to do with personal feelings. The so-called "past participle" endangered, (except after a form of "have") has a passive meaning, indicating that something is causing the danger to the subject. – Colin Fine Jan 6 '16 at 11:19
  • @Ricky I think your edit goes beyond what is appropriate. "will become" and "is on the verge of becoming" are not synonymous. Changing "talk about" to "discuss"? Editing like this is unnecessary. – Kyle Jan 6 '16 at 11:48
  • @Kyle: You know, dude, folks on this site should make up their minds. When I bring up the issue of the low quality of most questions which, in my opinion, makes the site unattractive to potential sane and sentient members, they sneer and tell me to improve it by editing. When I tell him I don't like touching other people's work, they tell me that's my problem. Now I'm being well-nigh forced to review other folks' edits, and I try to improve them, and what do I get by way of gratitude? You accuse me of inappropriate behavior. This is very confusing. Annoying, too. – Ricky Jan 6 '16 at 12:18
  • @Ricky Don't take it personally. I am not defining what is appropriate; I am explicitly referring to the guidelines laid out in the Help Center. I know where you are coming from, but I didn't make the rules. – Kyle Jan 6 '16 at 12:23
3

The word endangering is not an adjective, though it can be a participle that functions as an adjective.

The correct word for the blank is the adjective endangered. Your example sentence should look like:

As economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, growing numbers of languages will become endangered and eventually, extinct.

The verb endanger means:

Put (someone or something) at risk or in danger.

Example:

He was driving in a manner likely to endanger life.

To use the present participle endangering to form a verb tense, you must rephrase your sentence:

As economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, they are endangering growing numbers of languages.

You cannot use endangering as a participial adjective to describe languages, because that would mean the languages are doing the endangering:

As economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, growing numbers of endangering languages will eventually become extinct.

You can use endangering as a participial adjective to describe globalization and development, since these processes are the party responsible for putting the languages in danger:

The endangering economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, and will eventually make growing numbers of languages extinct.

(Oxford Dictionaries Online)

  • Thanks! I will use dictionaries in the future. I thought that such examples can be only solved with rules. – ValeraKundas Jan 6 '16 at 10:53

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