The Write Stuff: Emphasize an action with a gerund phrase

(1) “The draft agreement lacks clarity on environmental concerns, creates major risks, and contains no addenda.”
(2) “The draft agreement lacks clarity on environmental concerns, creating major risks, and contains no addenda.”

Sentence (1) puts equal emphasis on all three verbs, “lacks” and “creates” and “contains.” In (2), however, the lawyer emphasizes a consequence of the draft’s unclear writing, the lack of precision of which plants the seed of major risk. The writer achieves that emphasis by the gerund phrase — using a verb form [“creating”] as a noun.

To give equal weight to actions (verbs) you can use a compound structure – two or more balanced verbs joined by a conjunction. To indicate one of the actions is more important than the other, consider a gerund phrase.

We welcome comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *