"This being our first transaction....."

My dictionary says this means the same as

"Because this is our first transaction....."

Could anyone tell me why that is? "This being" is a gerund isn't it? I don't understand why this can be inferred, as I could just add is + adjective in which case the "because" sentence wouldn't make sense. (that's the way I think)

  • 3
    You're mistakenly assuming that X means the same as Y implies the exact text X can replace Y in any given utterance and remain syntactically valid. Being a native speaker, I can confidently assert that the reason I'm confident in making this assertion is because I'm a native speaker. Or I could replace the first word in that preceding sentence with As - this would mean exactly the same and be syntactically valid. But if I wanted to use the word because, I'd have to restructure to Because I am a native speaker... Oct 6, 2016 at 15:31
  • You can use the same structure with an adjective. "Being green, Kermit's life is not easy" = "Because Kermit is green, his life is not easy." source
    – Andrew
    Oct 6, 2016 at 15:39
  • Okay I need further explanation. In your "being a native speaker" example I understand "being" as a participle. But doesnt it become a gerund if preceded by a determiner ( "his being" "this being"). If the main clause starts with the subject as "being a native speaker, I....." it has to be a participle and cant be a gerund is what I thought. So "this being our first transaction" can only be followed by "is" in this case making the because meaning impossible. As the two clauses would have two different subjects ( "This being our first transaction, we....) . Oct 6, 2016 at 15:50
  • I hope someone can understand what I am trying to say, if not just tell me whether "this being" is a gerund or participle. Oct 6, 2016 at 15:53
  • I also understand both your sentences when "being" is left by itself but it gets really confusing with adding a determiner. Oct 6, 2016 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


As far as I've learned,this being is a participle,giving a reason for the action of the main clause of a sentence. 'Being' is not other than the present participle of the verb 'be'. So, being can be used a participle in a sentence to create the cause/effect relationship with the main clause of a sentence. for example

Being such a great singer, she didn't have problems to find a job.

Meaning: she didn't have problems to find the job because she was a great singer. In this sentence, the first subordinate clause having the use of 'being' clause gives the reason/cause for the action of the main clause.However,“Being” can be used in four ways:

  1. In a progressive tense as the present participle of the verb “be”.
  2. In present participial phrases.
  3. As a gerund.
  4. As a noun. If you would like to use it in the present progressive tense.For example:

He is being stupid.

This means he is not stupid all the time, but is behaving stupidly at the time of speaking. Here are two more examples:

I disagree with what is being said at this meeting.

The hostages are being held in a secret jungle location.

Here’s an example of the present progressive tense used with future meaning:

The show is being held tomorrow from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

You have said that 'being' is a gerund. Of course,“Being” can also be a gerund (a present participle that is used as a noun)For example:

There are many things that are difficult about being an actor.

Being a terrorist is wrong.

In being a doctor, a person must have great compassion at all times.

If something “comes into being”, is “brought into being”, or is “called into being”, it has been formed or been made to exist:

A new political party came into being last year.

When the new law is passed, an era of greater justice will be brought into being.

An audit committee has been called into being to review the company’s spending practices.

A commonly-heard expression is “other things being equal”. This is an assumption that nothing will influence a situation except for the single factor stated:

All other things being equal, the new manufacturing technique will increase profits by 5%.

Phrases using the present participle “being” can be substituted for subordinate clauses headed by “because”:

Because he is the owner of the house, he has the right to sell it.

Being the house’s owner, he has the right to sell it.

Because it was late at night, the streets were empty.

Being late at night, the streets were empty.

Here’s another example of a present participial phrase headed by “being”:

The company’s finances being what they are, the future does not look good.

“Being” can also be a noun:

A human being is a person.

A “being” is something that is alive, but difficult to fit into any category of creature:

In the movie, earth was invaded by beings from outer space.

“Being” also refers to life itself, especially in philosophy:

What is the purpose of being?

  • In matters linguistic, an asterisk before an example construction means "this is not grammatically / idiomatically acceptable", so I think you should edit to remove those asterisks (or add another one at the end of each sentence, which will cause them to be displayed in italics). Oct 6, 2016 at 18:25
  • Ok thanks. If I see a phrase being followed by a subject ( the streets, he) it is a participle and if its a verb its a gerund. I think I read somewhere that participle clauses should refer to the subject of the main clause but perhaps its wrong or I dont recall it correctly. "Being late at night, the streets were empty" makes sense and doesnt have streets as subject in the participle clause. Oct 6, 2016 at 19:17
  • chadThunder, yes!! I would say" The main clause's subject has to be capable of or affected by the action in the participle clause, or connected to it somehow by context.It was late at night is the reason/cause of street being empty at night.So, participle clause here refers to the subject(the streets) or both main clause and participle clause are connected by context or cause effect relationship.I hope you got it.
    – yubraj
    Oct 7, 2016 at 4:53
  • @Chad Thunder,If you found this answer helpfull, you could accept if you prefer to
    – yubraj
    Oct 9, 2016 at 16:29

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