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ESL forum > Ask for help > Help needed    

Help needed


Help needed
Dear colleagues,
I struggle again with a transformation made by a student on a recent test.
 My sentence to transform was:
Harlitt�s chocolate factory has closed down. It used to employ over a thousand people. 
and students were given a key word : EMPLOYING
I expected the sentence either with a relative or participle clause:
Harlitt�s chocolate factory, (which was ) employing over a thousand people, has closed down.
I also got the answer:
Employing over one thousand people, Harlitt�s chocolate factory has closed down. 
 Is this grammatically acceptable and is the meaning still the same?
Thank you in advance for your help. 

2 Dec 2019      


It explains to us the same meaning and there is nothing grammatically wrong in this sentence.

2 Dec 2019     

ana san vicente

I think the second sentence is more correct

2 Dec 2019     


To my understanding, the second sentence has a slightly different meaning, like saying that the factory was being closed WHILE employing a  thousand people approximately. And the original sentence means that the factory was closed even though it hired more or less a thousand people since it was opened...
That is what I think nonetheless... 

2 Dec 2019     


The question seems odd to me.
I would naturally rephrase it as: 
Harlitts chocolate factory, which employed over 1000 people, has closed down.
However, the question requires students to use employing so I think either of your alternatives is correct.
which was employing really doesnt work, though. Is it because employ is used more like a stative verb here? Les or Bruce might know!

2 Dec 2019     

United Kingdom

I suggest:
"Harlitts chocolate factory, which had been employing over a thousand people, has closed down".

"It is difficult to give rules for the choice between the to-infinitive clause ...  and the ing-clause." ("An A-Z of English Grammar & Usage, Geoffrey Leech, et al, page 234, 2001.")

"But avoid using two to-infinitives or two ing forms one after the other." Page 235.
Examples|: "I would like to begin studying as soon as possible."
                                                      to study   X
                   "They are beginning to improve the road."
                                                     improving   X                                         

In my sentence I have used the Past Perfect Progressive/Continuous Tense.

I see it as "An action began in the past and was continued until another action occurred". ("Using Tenses in English: Past, Present, Future. Manik Josh, page 62, 2014".)
Example: "She had been living in Washington for four years before she left for Paris".

I hope that this helps.

Les Douglas

3 Dec 2019