Is it right to say I watched the leaves swinging in the wind. or I watched the leaves shaking in the wind. I myself prefer to say the former one. But how about the latter one. Is it right to say in that way. And what's the difference between swing and shake exactly?

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    What does your elementary research show? – Colin Fine May 15 '17 at 17:34
  • You shake, rock and roll. You don't shake, swing and roll. The truth is that this sort of question is hard to classify and is also hard to look up. In any event, to watch the leaves [that are not on trees] being buffeted about. The problem with this question: Where are the leaves? On a tree or on the ground?? – Lambie May 15 '17 at 19:00

Swinging is a regular movement, and the connotation is a motion like a pendulum or a playground swing. Shaking is a more stochastic and higher frequency movement.

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    Actually, a shake is a concoction of ice cream and flavorings, all mushed up, while a swing is a gizmo kids ride on on a playground. – Hot Licks May 15 '17 at 17:48
  • Either way, it shivers my timbers to think that "leaves" do either. The basic difference semantically is: swinging creates an arc of the object attached to something. Shaking does not imply being attached to anything and it involves small back-and-forth movements, but no arc. Ah Johnny, cannae see the leaves dancing on the grass? – Lambie May 15 '17 at 19:05
  • Everyone is wrong.. leaves only "flutter" in the wind, perhaps "shimering" in the sun while the do so. Perhaps leaves could "vibrate" when you strike the trunk, however that isn't very poetic. And then, the answer my friend, could be "blowing" in the wind, if they get blown off the tree. – Tom22 May 15 '17 at 20:08
  • @Lambie - You’ve never seen a Quaking Aspen? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_tremuloides – Jim May 15 '17 at 20:33
  • @Jim quaking is not shaking. In any event, the question is silly because of: lack of context. Resistance is futile. :) Leaves only flutter in the wind if they are attached to a branch. Not if they are on the ground. Leaves fluttering [on trees] are one of the best sounds in the world. Obviously, I was not saying that leaves either shake or swing. And I really do not like being told "I'm wrong" based on a reader's misreading of my comments. – Lambie May 15 '17 at 21:20

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