Could anyone help me to explain this quote?

I have read this quote:

The difference in winning & losing is most often, not quitting.

I am so curious for some issue below.

  • I wonder why “not“, as in “not quitting“, has a comma in front
    of “not“?

  • whether “quitting” is a present participle or a gerund?

  • Does meaning of this sentence change if “not” is placed after “is“?

  • Is “not quitting” a reduced form of an adjective clause?

  • Is it possible that “not quitting” comes from “The difference which doesn’t quit in winning & losing is most often“?

PS. Thank you in advance for answering my question and I am so sorry if I make you confused.


  • The comma before “not” is used to group “not quitting” instead of “is not.” It’s an odd way to use a comma, but without it, this quote would be confusing.
  • “Quitting” is most closely used as a gerund.
  • Changing the sentence from “is ‘not quitting'” to “‘is not’ quitting” changes the meaning from “not quitting is the difference between winning and losing” to “quitting is not the difference between winning and losing,” which is a complete reversal!
  • “Not quitting” is a gerund, and as such, is treated as a noun.
  • The writer most likely used “not quitting” to emphasize that “not quitting” makes one a “winner,” rather than emphasizing that “quitting” making one a “loser.”

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