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Participle instead of “that + present simple”

I've perused now hundreds of questions discussing gerunds and participles, but I can't find the answer to this:

  1. "Jojoba is a plant producing many waxes".

2. "Jojoba is a plant that produces many waxes".

  1. "We invented a method enabling faster production".

2. "We invented a method that enables faster production".

To me options #2 are much more correct than #1. #1 doesn't in fact sound correct at all. Yet it is seen extremely often in the texts that I read.

What do you think? And what is the grammatical description of these constructions? (Or in other words, what would you enter in Google in order to search for this topic?)


  • I think that most grammars and most grammarians still use the traditional term participle. The other term gerund is still used by some but rejected by others.

    In your examples producing and enabling definitely can't be called gerunds. You could say

    -ing -form used adjectivally

    but people will understand if you calls them participles.

    The reason your option 2# sentences sound wrong is because they are the equivalent of PRESENT PROGRESSIVE
    Jojoba is a plant that is producing many waxes.
    We invented a method that is enabling faster production.

    The PRESENT PROGRESSIVE sound strange because it means that the process is temporary.

    Thus the first means that possibly jojoba didn't produce waxes in the past, for example, or that it may not produce many waxes in the future.

    The second is slightly more plausible. You could say it of a method that enabled faster production for a short time, but not in the long run.

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