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    #1

    Talking differing

    Professor: Now that you know how sedimentay rocks are formed, the next step is to look at various shapes and learn to read them. On our next field trip, we'll see several of the formations called "mesas." This landform gets its name from its flat top. "Mesa" means "table" in Spanish. The Spanish people who explored the area thought these flat-topped hills looked sort of like tables. A mesa is wider than it is high - kind of like a large table.
    We'll also see a variety of other formations, such as buttes, spires, and pillars. All of these spectacular forms are the result of the erosion of rocks of differing hardness. ... ... (Hi, everybody! Could you have a look for me at this word "differing". What does it mean here? Is it used as an adjective in this sentence? I can not find this word in the dictionary. Thank you for your kind help)


  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: differing

    Each layer of rock is of a different hardness from each other layer of rock. "Differ" is a verb (meaning 'be different'). 'Differing' is the present participle of that verb.

    b


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    #3

    Re: differing

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Each layer of rock is of a different hardness from each other layer of rock. "Differ" is a verb (meaning 'be different'). 'Differing' is the present participle of that verb.

    b
    Hello, dear Bobk,

    Thanks a lot for taking your time to look at my question again !

    Mmm, then may I get "differing" as "different" in this case?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: differing

    Quote Originally Posted by IMPSX-UE View Post
    Hello, dear Bobk,

    Thanks a lot for taking your time to look at my question again !

    Mmm, then may I get "differing" as "different" in this case?
    Almost. But if the quoted passage said
    'All of these spectacular forms are the result of the erosion of rocks of different hardness. ... '
    the reader might think 'different from what', and look back in the text for something hard. An example of this contrastive use would be something like this: 'In the past, you have worshipped many gods, But my religion is different - I have only one'. You couldn't use 'differing' here.

    b


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    #5

    Re: differing

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Almost. But if the quoted passage said
    'All of these spectacular forms are the result of the erosion of rocks of different hardness. ... '
    the reader might think 'different from what', and look back in the text for something hard. An example of this contrastive use would be something like this: 'In the past, you have worshipped many gods, But my religion is different - I have only one'. You couldn't use 'differing' here.

    b
    Yes, Bobk, I get it. I can recognize the difference between them now!

    Thanks again!

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: differing

    Quote Originally Posted by IMPSX-UE View Post
    Professor: Now that you know how sedimentay rocks are formed, the next step is to look at various shapes and learn to read them. On our next field trip, we'll see several of the formations called "mesas." This landform gets its name from its flat top. "Mesa" means "table" in Spanish. The Spanish people who explored the area thought these flat-topped hills looked sort of like tables. A mesa is wider than it is high - kind of like a large table.
    We'll also see a variety of other formations, such as buttes, spires, and pillars. All of these spectacular forms are the result of the erosion of rocks of differing hardness. ... ... (Hi, everybody! Could you have a look for me at this word "differing". What does it mean here? Is it used as an adjective in this sentence? I can not find this word in the dictionary. Thank you for your kind help)
    Differ is a verb. It means something like the verbs vary and disagree. Verbs ending in ing are often used as adjectives: the moving train, the growing problem, the falling piano, the sleeping lion, the burning bush. So you're right: here it is an adjective. Other adjectives that would work: different, varying.

    [I am a copy editor and have tutored university writing.]

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