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    #1

    ... drinks such as whisky are made by distilling.

    This example is from the Cambridge online dictionary:
    Some strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky are made by distilling.

    Is it incorrect to replace 'distilling' with 'distillation'?
    - Some strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky are made by distillation.

    Are there any difference in meaning? Or, using 'distillation' is incorrect?

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    This example is from the Cambridge online dictionary:
    Some strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky are made by distilling.

    Is it incorrect to replace 'distilling' with 'distillation'? No.
    - Some strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky are made by distillation.

    Is there any difference in meaning? No. Or, is using 'distillation' is incorrect? No.
    Note that your title reads like an ungrammatical sentence.

    I have amended it.

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    #3

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Oh I see...in this case, is it correct to say that 'distilling' in this context is a gerund, a noun, just like distillation?

    Thank you!

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    #4

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Because of the preposition by, I much prefer distilling. I don't think distillation works very well after by.

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    #5

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Because of the preposition by, I much prefer distilling. I don't think distillation works very well after by.
    Sorry, can you help me understand the reason? I can't tell the difference from the use of 'by' as to which is better.

    Thank you.

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    #6

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    I find "distillation" more natural. With "distilling", I want to hear more about the process: made by distilling fermented grain mash, for example.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: ... drinks such as whisky are made by distilling.

    My exact thought. "By distilling" seems like an incomplete thought.

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    #8

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    ...in this case, is it correct to say that 'distilling' in this context is a gerund, a noun, just like distillation?
    Yes.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    Sorry, can you help me understand the reason? I can't tell the difference from the use of 'by' as to which is better.
    Well, I can tell you the distinction that I make. The noun form distillation is a technical word that refers to a chemical process. The gerund noun distilling refers to the activity of somebody doing this process.

    The preposition by is normally used before gerund nouns when explaining the way that people do things. It doesn't work well when followed by a technical -tion word.

    I agree with posts #6 and #7 that the sentence sounds rather incomplete without mentioning what is distilled, so I would suggest either using by distilling fermented grain mash or removing the preposition by and replacing it with a different phrase altogether, possibly using the preposition through. Whisky is made through a process of distillation.

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    #10

    Re: whisky are made by distilling

    I would just use "through distillation" because everyone knows it is a process.

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