Could you please explain the difference in the following sentences?
1. The instruments used are very reliable.
2. The instruments being used are very reliable.
Are participle 2 “used” and passive participle 1 “being used” interchangeable in this context?
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These are both 'reduced relative clauses', and both are passive (present simple passive and present continuous passive):
1. The instruments (which are) used are very reliable.
2. The instruments (which are) being used are very reliable.
The meanings are very similar, the difference being the normal one between using present simple (1) and present continous (2) forms
The first one suggests you are talking about a standard process, situated in general time, which is fairly static. The second sugegsts that you are talking about a situation occurring now. For example:
'We have been operating this procedure for some time now, and the instruments used are very reliable'
'This is a new procedure, which has its risks, but a least we know that the instruments being used are very reliable.'
Warsaw Will Mar-13-2015
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Anton Ivanov Mar-13-2015
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