Remain vs remaining
“Only 3 days remain…” or “Only 3 days remaining…”?
Grammatically, these phrases seem equivilent; however there is a nuance here that should not be missed.
"Only 3 days remain" is more formal and is usually used when we are anticipating (or dreading) something. For example:
"Only 3 days remain before the wedding." or "Only 3 days remain before the trip."
The second phrase, "only 3 days remaining" is more informal and is normally used when we are counting down to something or providing background information. NOTE: You cannot start a sentence with this phrase alone. Here are some examples of how it may be used:
"There are only 3 days remaining in the sale at Harrods!"
"With only 3 days remaining before the wedding, we frantically finished the seating plan."
The most informal and most like that used in speech is the phrase, without 'remain', i.e. "Only 3 days before our trip! Yay!"
|link comment||answered Jan 19 '11 at 18:56 Kimberly Expert|
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