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In my understanding, the following sentences have the same meaning:

The wearing of a mask is required.
Wearing a mask is required.

What is the difference in nuance?

Let me guess, although my guess may be wide of the mark because I am not a native speaker of English.

The wearing of a mask is required. ― This sentence focuses on a mask and says that a mask (not a face shield) is required.

Wearing a mask is required. ― This sentence focuses on the act of wearing and says that it is important to wear a mask (not just possess it).

I would like to know native speakers' opinions.

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SnappyWearing a mask is required.

Since it is shorter, that is what is more likely to be posted at the entrance.

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SnappyWhat is the difference in nuance?

There is no semantic (meaning) difference.

The difference is entirely syntactic (structural).


Verbal nouns (as in, e.g., the wearing of) take determiners and modifiers. They don't take adverbs. Their complements occur as of-phrases.

Verbal nouns don't have to end in -ing. (arrival, departure, decision)

This incessant wearing of masks is getting on my nerves.


Gerunds do not do any of those things. They take adverbs, and their complements are direct objects. They always end in -ing. So gerunds are more "verb-y".

Wearing a mask routinely is becoming perfectly natural for a lot of people.


You can make your own example with "a bad drawing of a dog" and "badly drawing a dog" if you want to try your hand at it.

CJ

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Comments  
SnappyWhat is the difference in nuance?

I don't see a difference.

 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
AlpheccaStars
SnappyWearing a mask is required.

Since it is shorter, that is what is more likely to be posted at the entrance.

Thank you very much.

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anonymous
SnappyWhat is the difference in nuance?

I don't see a difference.

Thank you very much.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJim
SnappyWhat is the difference in nuance?

There is no semantic (meaning) difference.

The difference is entirely syntactic (structural).


Verbal nouns (as in, e.g., the wearing of) take determiners and modifiers. They don't take adverbs. Their complements occur as of-phrases.

Verbal nouns don't have to end in -ing. (arrival, departure, decision)

This incessant wearing of masks is getting on my nerves.


Gerunds do not do any of those things. They take adverbs, and their complements are direct objects. They always end in -ing. So gerunds are more "verb-y".

Wearing a mask routinely is becoming perfectly natural for a lot of people.


You can make your own example with "a bad drawing of a dog" and "badly drawing a dog" if you want to try your hand at it.

CJ

Oh, thank you for the examples.

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