1. to forgive is a great value
  2. Forgiveness is a great value
  3. Forgiving is a great value

Does meaning change ? And why ? Grateful to your help

  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Using Nouns or Gerunds The to-infinitive is rarely used as a subject (and then mostly twinned with a second infinitive), but is literary in style ('To see her is to love her'). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 27 '20 at 10:57
  1. Not all verbs would comply with the -ness version. "To hit", for example.

  2. "Smoking is injurious to health." -- certainly sounds better with the gerund than it would with the infinitive "to smoke". Likewise with a big set of verbs-- where "infinitivizing" them doesn't sound proper (encourage, enjoy, dread, deny, keep, etc. are some such verbs).

  3. The non-finite variety of the English language amplifies its charm and were we to whittle it down to only a certain set of constructions, it wouldn't be as live and vivacious a language as it is.

  • 1
    Sometimes the infinitive sounds better: to live is to suffer, or living is suffering? To obey is to enjoy or obeying is enjoying? There is a slight difference in meaning between the gerund and the infinitive which means that sometimes one sounds better and sometimes the other does. – Peter Shor Aug 27 '20 at 12:57
  • Thank you @Peter Shor for enhancing my answer. I should have used these examples to zero in on my point, but thanks nonetheless! :) – user392935 Aug 27 '20 at 13:00
  • Grateful to your help – samir nour Aug 27 '20 at 15:08

You ask a subtle question. I will try to give the sense of the slight differences that I see. I hope others will forgive me if they see things differently. I already forgive them for their inevitable criticisms!

  1. The action of forgiving is a great value

  2. The personal quality of a tendency (or inclination) to forgive is a great value

  3. Any specific act of forgiveness is of great value.

  • Grateful to your help – samir nour Aug 27 '20 at 15:08
  • Kind of you. But perhaps the person who marked it down would like to give their reasons? We may learn something from them. – Anton Aug 27 '20 at 15:36

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