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    #1

    to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    A guide to distinguishing synonyms Over 4,ooo synonyms explained and differentiated.....(Webster's NewWorld Dictionary of Synonyms)

    Why put "ing" at distinguish ?

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    #2

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Because it is a gerund (a nominal -ing form). The basic construction here is [a guide to NP].

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    #3

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Would it be wrong or not if "A guide to distinguish synonyms.....(and why ?)
    Please help improving my question if necessary.

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    #4

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Here to is the preposition following guide and not the infinitive particle so it follows the preposition + gerund pattern.

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    #5

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Quote Originally Posted by suthipong worasarn View Post
    Would it be wrong or not if "A guide to distinguish synonyms.....(and why ?)
    Please help improving my question if necessary.
    It would of course be grammatically possible, but rather strange, at least as a book title.

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    #6

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    In my view 'distinguishing synonyms' is a phrase...

    distinguishing is an adjective NOT a verb here...
    distinguishing synonyms = distinctive synonyms..

    A guide to distinctive synonyms Over 4,ooo synonyms explained and differentiated.. now it makes sense right..

    it is not a gerund but a phrase instead walk -- walking (X)

    distinguishing 2
    /di sting"gwi shing/, adj.

    distinctive; characteristic, as a definitive feature of an individual or group: Intricate rhyming is a distinguishing feature of her poetry.

    [1660-70; DISTINGUISH + -ING2]

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    #7

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden Darien View Post
    In my view 'distinguishing synonyms' is a phrase...

    distinguishing is an adjective NOT a verb here...
    distinguishing synonyms = distinctive synonyms..

    A guide to distinctive synonyms Over 4,ooo synonyms explained and differentiated.. now it makes sense right..

    it is not a gerund but a phrase instead walk -- walking (X)

    distinguishing 2
    /di sting"gwi shing/, adj.

    distinctive; characteristic, as a definitive feature of an individual or group: Intricate rhyming is a distinguishing feature of her poetry.

    [1660-70; DISTINGUISH + -ING2]
    An interesting suggestion, but, on the whole, rather improbable. Synonyms, unlike features, do not naturally distinguish things.

    More likely to be of use to the reader is a book explaining in detail the often fine differences between words listed in the thesaurus as synonyms, i.e. as having identical meanings, when, in reality, their meanings are simply similar in certain contexts. It would then make perfect sense to call such a book 'A guide to distinguishing synonyms' with 'distinguishing', as stated, a gerund.

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    #8

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    An interesting suggestion, but, on the whole, rather improbable. Synonyms, unlike features, do not naturally distinguish things.

    More likely to be of use to the reader is a book explaining in detail the often fine differences between words listed in the thesaurus as synonyms, i.e. as having identical meanings, when, in reality, their meanings are simply similar in certain contexts. It would then make perfect sense to call such a book 'A guide to distinguishing synonyms' with 'distinguishing', as stated, a gerund.
    Thanks for the elucidation... but let me state some data that I've found first

    CAMBRIDGE ADVANCED LEARNER DICTIONARY
    distinguish
    distinguish /dɪˈstɪŋ.gwɪʃ/
    verb [I or T; not continuous]
    1 to notice or understand the difference between two things, or to make one person or thing seem different from another:
    He's colour-blind and can't distinguish (the difference) between red and green easily.
    I sometimes have difficulty distinguishing Spanish from Portuguese.
    It's important to distinguish between business and pleasure.
    It's not the beauty so much as the range of his voice that distinguishes him from other tenors.

    2 distinguish yourself to do something so well that you are admired and praised for it:
    He distinguished himself in British theatre at a very early age.

    distinguishable /dɪˈstɪŋ.gwɪ.ʃə.bļ/
    adjective
    There are at least twenty distinguishable dialects of the language just on the south island..

    distinguishing /dɪˈstɪŋ.gwɪ.ʃɪŋ/
    adjective
    The main distinguishing (= different and noticeable) feature of the new car is its fast acceleration.

    MACMILLAN ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    dis·tin·guish·ing / dɪ`stɪŋgwɪʃɪŋ / adjective
    a distinguishing feature, mark etc. makes someone or something clearly different from other similar people or things


    RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY
    distinguishing 1
    —distinguishingly, adv.

    distinguishing 2
    /di sting"gwi shing/, adj.

    distinctive; characteristic, as a definitive feature of an individual or group: Intricate rhyming is a distinguishing feature of her poetry.

    [1660-70; DISTINGUISH + -ING2]

    Perhaps we can't apply those entries to 'synonym'; I just want to clarify my stand
    PEACE
    Last edited by Eden Darien; 07-Nov-2010 at 17:05.

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    #9

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden Darien View Post
    Thanks for the elucidationclarify my stand
    PEACE
    Thank you for your data, but I have nothing to add to my previous comments.

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    #10

    Re: to distinguishing.....(Why + ing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden Darien View Post
    In my view 'distinguishing synonyms' is a phrase...

    distinguishing is an adjective NOT a verb here...
    distinguishing synonyms = distinctive synonyms..

    A guide to distinctive synonyms Over 4,ooo synonyms explained and differentiated.. now it makes sense right..

    it is not a gerund but a phrase instead walk -- walking (X)

    distinguishing 2
    /di sting"gwi shing/, adj.

    distinctive; characteristic, as a definitive feature of an individual or group: Intricate rhyming is a distinguishing feature of her poetry.

    [1660-70; DISTINGUISH + -ING2]

    This would be a simple thing to prove if correct- simply create a list of a few of these distinguishing synonyms. As the book has 4,000 examples, they would be common enough, so what are they?

    I agree with Philo's view- I would assume that the book helped people learn the cases where big/large, injury/wound, illness/disease, etc, are not used interchangeably, an explanation that fits the grammatical explanation given above. To disprove us, or at least prove the possibility of your view, simply give us some examples of something that is clearly a distinguishing synonym (= a synonym that distinguishes).

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