"In doing" or "while doing"

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taceev

Senior Member
Turkish
Can I use them interchangeably? If so,
is there a context where one of them is more plausible than the other?

1- Choose your words wisely while speaking to him.

2- Choose your words wisely speaking to him.

3- Choose your words wisely in speaking to him.

4- He broke his leg while playing football.

5- He broke his leg playing football.

6- He broke his leg in playing football.
 
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  • taceev

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    1 and 2, - 4 and 5 = correct
    3 and 6 = incorrect
    But as far as I know, "in" means "during" and I think "during" means pretty much the same thing as "while or when" . And also I have always come across with this kind of sentences : "What was your idea in choosing this perspective?" "I would take one word at a time in choosing which one to use."
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "In playing football" means "as a result of playing football", with the implication "because he played football". But he didn't break his leg because he played football: a broken leg is not an inevitable outcome of playing football.
     

    taceev

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    @sound shift @reno33

    Neither does it mean "as a result of choosing". So what is the meaning of "in choosing" in that example? (What was your idea in choosing this perspective? ) I am having a really hard time understanding this form "in v-ing"
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In speaking to him, I hope to change his mind = By speaking to him, I hope to change his mind. It is the process of speaking that is meant here.

    While speaking to him, I hope to change his mind. It is during the process of speaking to him (and not the process itself) that I hope to change his mind.

    Bottom line: In speaking to him is not the same as While speaking to him.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    It is during the process of speaking to him (and not the process itself) that I hope to change his mind.
    It's hard to split the duration of a process from the process itself. How can one exist without the other?
    I have this sentence:

    In trying to devise ways to improve the machinery of the United Nations the Foreign Secretary displayed real ingenuity.

    In the grammar I borrowed the sentence they say that it means:

    When (while) the Foreign Secretary was trying to devise ways to improve the machinery of the United Nations he displayed real ingenuity.

    Do you not agree with it?
     
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