When the tank carried/carrying the toxic gas derailed, the firemen tried to isolate the village from all traffic.

Why is "carried" wrong in this sentence? And why should it be "carrying"?

  • It is wrong because of the subject and verb: the tank derailed. /carrying the toxic gas/ is a reduced clause: When the tank that was carrying the toxic gas derailed, etc.
    – Lambie
    Jun 15 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


It cannot be past tense which can be a finite verb, else you are saying it is not carrying toxic gas before it derailed, but it is. "Carrying" suggests it was carrying toxic gas before derailing, which is a participle.

  • You should show that "carried" can be a finite verb, but "carrying" is a participle.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 15 at 11:16
  • The tank which was carrying the gas. Jun 15 at 12:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.