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In order to say

My job must involve using computers,

how would I use the present participle of use?

Is this correct?

Mein Beruf muss Computer benutzen einschließen.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

German uses the present participle very scarcely compared to English. The only thing it is used for on a regular basis is as an adjective or an adverb.

Der bellende Hund nervt mich.

Der Hund kam auf mich zu, bellend, geifernd, die Zähne bleckend.

For all other uses of the English present participle (or gerund for that matter), my advice is to avoid a direct transfer to German. It will most likely be unidiomatic (though understandable). The options you have are using a noun or making a dependent clause with the activity (or, as @Toscho suggested in a comment to the other answer, an infinitive-construction). Which one is better depends on the particular case. I'll use 3 different intro-sentences but they are interchangeable.

Mein Job muss die Benutzung (das Benutzen) von Computer umfassen.

Zu meinem Job muss gehören, Computer zu benutzen.

Mein Job muss beinhalten, dass Computer benutzt werden.

The first version is the best, the third one is awful.

In this particular case, depending on what exactly the context is, another phrasing is possible.

Mein Job muss mit Computern zu tun haben.

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I'd say (tersely)

Mein Beruf muss Computerbenutzung einschließen.

This wording contains "use of computers" as a noun.

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Thanks. Should I always use a noun in cases like this? – Charlie Harding Sep 24 '13 at 19:11
@CharlieHarding No, it depends on the verb used. Generally, you have two possibilities: 1. use a noun derivative: Benutzung; 2. usa an infinitive structure: Mein Beruf muss es einschließen, Computer zu benutzen. For einschließen the noun derivative sounds better to me, for beinhalten both variants sound the same to me. – Toscho Sep 24 '13 at 19:33

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