What is the difference between these two:

  1. Presentation events allow for the sharing of knowledge.

  2. Presentation events allow to share knowledge.

Do they share the exact same meaning?

  • You may get better answers in ell.stackexchange.com ... that forum is not a well-known as it should be. – GEdgar Sep 14 '19 at 14:13

I think for the second sentence, what you meant was:

"Presentation events allow sharing knowledge."

"Sharing" is the present participle form and the gerund form of the verb "share." "To share" is the infinitive form of the verb "share." In some languages, the gerund form and infinitive form are exactly the same. That is not the case with English, though.

In the second sentence, the usage is gerundial, that of a gerund. Therefore, the word required is the gerund "sharing," not the infinitive "to share."

As for your question...

The difference between saying "for the sharing of knowledge" and "sharing knowledge" is just semantics. While words with their own meanings are being introduced in the first sentence that technically make the second sentence different, the actual meaning being conveyed by the speaker does not change.

Moving from the first sentence to the second, all that changes is the gerund "sharing knowledge" appears as a noncount noun and direct object of the verb "allow," which a direct object adverbially modifies its verb, rather than "allow" having no direct object but instead a prepositional phrase starting with "for" adverbially modifying it, the gerund "sharing" appearing in that prepositional phrase as a count noun followed by the prepositional phrase "of knowledge" adjectivally modifying it.

In the phrase "sharing knowledge," "knowledge" appears as the direct object of "sharing," the present participle of the verb "share." When the present participle "sharing" is used as a gerund, meaning used as a noun form of the verb, the direct object "knowledge" becomes an adjectival modifier that appears postpositively.

In "the sharing of knowledge," the present participle "sharing" has no direct object. What is being shared is instead introduced by the prepositional phrase "of knowledge." Were "sharing" being used as a verb, the prepositional phrase "of knowledge" would be adverbial, but since "sharing" is being used as a gerund, the prepositional phrase is adjectival.

Brass tacks: There is more than one way to skin a cat.

While the two sentences are mechanically different as far as grammar is concerned, they nevertheless identically use a noun form of the verb "share" followed by an adjectival modifier denoting "knowledge" in a combined phrase that modifies the verb "allow," so their meaning is therefore also identical.

  • What makes a usage a "gerundial" usage? Usage of what? What would a "non-gerundial" usage be? How can you tell the difference so you stop making mistakes? Are you referring to form or function when you talk about these "gerundial" usages? If there is a semantic difference between the two, how can the meaning not change? Without any change in meaning, how can semantics be different? Just what are you saying that semantics means if it no longer means meaning? You cannot change semantics without changing meaning, nor the other way around. – tchrist Sep 14 '19 at 20:23
  • How can the entire phrase sharing knowledge be "a non-count noun"? I thought only compound nouns like knowledge sharing could have spaces inside. How can a noun have a direct object?? Didn't you mean the direct object of the verb sharing is the non-count noun knowledge? Why are calling things like sharing knowledge and to share knowledge nouns when these are non-finite verb clauses with both a nonfinite verb and that verb's direct object? Are you saying a verb clause "is a noun", or that they are noun clauses like how to quit and how he died are? – tchrist Sep 14 '19 at 20:39
  • If the sharing of knowledge is a present participle, what is it modifying? Also, where's the verb? How can you use a preposition connecting two nouns inside here? Isn't sharing one known and knowledge another, and you're just connecting two nouns with preposition? But if these are both nouns, and of is a preposition, and surely the is an article, then you're left with no verbs at all so what happened to this “present participle” you said was involved here somehow? I don't see any verbs left at all, just two nouns, an article, and a preposition. What happened to your verb? – tchrist Sep 14 '19 at 20:56
  • Nothing in this "answer" makes any sense at all. I think you should delete it. :) :] :-} :•》♡ – tchrist Sep 14 '19 at 21:01
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    Dear Benamin, Thanks for your reply. it is rather useful. – DC glory Sep 15 '19 at 17:43

In the 1st sentence, the phrase "allow for" is a phrasal verb, which means it is something that has already been thought of and planned for. Ex. The scientist allowed for drawbacks while computing X. This does not mean that the scientist is letting it happen, it simply means that the scientist thought about the drawbacks while drawing conclusions for his hypothesis.

In contrary, the phrase "allow Y to" means you're granting permission for something to happen.

X - unknown Y - pronoun/noun.

Happy learning, hope you understood.

  • Would you say that “We forgot to allow for him to edit his answer later” has some sort of “phrasal” verb in it? How about “We forgot to allow for him editing his answer later” or “We forgot allowing for him to edit his answer later was a project requirement”? – tchrist Sep 18 '19 at 3:31

The dif­fer­ence be­tween these two sen­tences:

  1. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low for the shar­ing of knowl­edge.
  2. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low to share knowl­edge.

...is that #2 is un­gram­mat­i­cal. You can only use an in­fini­tive af­ter al­low when there’s a spe­cific thing named first, usu­ally a per­son.

  1. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low us to share knowl­edge.
  2. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low knowl­edge to be shared.

The first sen­tence does­n’t need the for, al­though it’s not wrong.

  1. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low the shar­ing of knowl­edge.

I won­der why you did­n’t write it more sim­ply:

  1. Pre­sen­ta­tion events al­low knowl­edge shar­ing.
  2. Giv­ing pre­sen­ta­tions shares knowl­edge.
  3. Pre­sen­ta­tions share knowl­edge.

Your question’s ti­tle sentence is also un­gram­mat­i­cal:

  1. What is dif­fer­ence be­tween be­low two sen­tences?

...be­cause it is miss­ing de­ter­min­ers. Re­mem­ber also that be­low is not a de­ter­miner and works best as an ad­verb. Below is dra­mat­i­cally overused by learn­ers, and usually used in the wrong place, too. In pre­fix po­si­tion it should nearly al­ways be re­placed by the, this, that, these, or those:

  1. What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sen­tences be­low?

  2. What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween these two sen­tences?

No­tice how in the last sentence the word be­low has be­come com­pletely un­nec­es­sary, and has there­fore been omit­ted.

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    Right, sorry, I changed the question title to “Difference between “allow for” and “allow to” because I saw a suggested edit which I thought didn't improve matters. Do I rollback? – Mari-Lou A Sep 14 '19 at 13:45
  • I replaced original question title. – Mari-Lou A Sep 14 '19 at 13:47
  • Hi tchrist, Thanks for your reply. Get it (^ _ ^) – DC glory Sep 14 '19 at 16:43
  • @DCglory I can write more on the differences between allow for X and allow Y to Z if you would like. – tchrist Sep 14 '19 at 18:33

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