Are travel (n.) and travelling always interchangeable?


'Travel' as a noun is used in the following sentences:

"Travel broadens the mind",
"Travel is my passion",
"Air travel is expensive".

We can also say "I love traveling".

Are these two words interchangeable in the examples above?

Is there any difference in meaning if they are, e.g. does "Travel is my passion" mean exactly the same as "Traveling is my passion"?

Marina Yegorova

Posted 2015-10-30T08:12:58.680

Reputation: 111

When we talk about hobbies, passion, we use '-ing' in such cases. I love *reading/traveling/cooking/jogging' etc. – Maulik V – 2015-10-30T08:45:33.433

1I think it boils down to if the word (travel, traveling) is used as a noun or a verb. In your four examples I'd say that the words are interchangeable. But in "I will travel to Europe" you can't substitute traveling since travel is a verb. However it is "While traveling to Europe, I lost my bag", not travel. – MaxW – 2015-10-31T04:53:59.420

@MaxW Distinguishing the noun and the verb is not really a problem for advanced learners. It's not quite clear, however, why 'travel broadens the mind' seems to be commonly used and obviously preferred to 'travelling broadens the mind'. I'm not sure that 'air travelling' is possible, while 'travelling by air' seems a valid alternative to 'air travel'. – Marina Yegorova – 2015-11-04T07:25:09.477



Are these two words interchangeable in the examples above?

In short, yes they are, though the third example sounds rather jarring (as Marina Yegorova says, most english speakers would use "Traveling by air" instead of "Air travelling"). At least for those three sentences.

Is there any difference in meaning?

Yes, there is. The reason that the common idiom is travel broadens the mind as opposed to traveling broadens the mind is the fact that the word travel embodies a fundamental concept, while traveling is simply engaging in the act. Allow me to explain.

In order to travel, it's common to make plans. Making plans forces you to make decisions about where you wish to go, when, and why. So before you've ever put one foot in front of the other, the process of deciding where to go (part of what is implied by the concept of travel) forces you to learn about your destination. It also means you'll learn about the methods of getting there so you can decide which one you want to use.

Once you actually start your trip by putting yourself in motion you've begun engaging in the act of traveling and the definitions meet.


Posted 2015-10-30T08:12:58.680

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