I was reading a dictionary a few moments ago and I found this doubt in the meaning of this word.

  1. being the person, animal, thing, or idea which is nearby, esp. closer than something else.

  2. being the person, animal, thing, or idea just mentioned or otherwise understood.

Here, my doubt is the correct usage of the verb "to be" in its reduced form "being", instead "It is" just like in reduced relative pronouns case, example:

-The young lady who is over there is my girl friend. (complete relative pronoun sentence).

-The young lady being over there is my girlfriend. (reduced relative pronoun sentence).

I know that the verb "to be" is very irregular on conjugating it, but I would like to know whether it is correct to reduce the verb "to be" at the beginning of sentence.

  • 1
    It's syntactically "correct" but no speaker or writer would ever use it. The relative clause version is only a little more idiomatic. Since over there is intended as a modifier, not a supplemental predication, there's no need for a copula at all--most of us would say or write "The young lady over there". Dec 15, 2016 at 22:00
  • You wouldn't say "being [over there]" unless you were using it to explain something, "the car, being in the path of the bus, was demolished when the bus hit it".
    – MMacD
    Dec 15, 2016 at 22:07
  • FWIW, it's a definition of this when, according to the dictionary, being used as an adjective: Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, page 1466. Dec 15, 2016 at 22:42
  • "Lady", by the way, though still often used, irritates some feminists because it's sometimes used for condescension or insult. Interestingly, the knight and poet Herr Walter von der Vogelweide (1170-1230), made that very point in a poem 900 years ago. He wrote that "woman" (wip) should be preferred over "lady" (frouwe) because it's always honest and cannot be used as a sly insult.
    – MMacD
    Dec 15, 2016 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


It seems you are confused over how to use the "being" adverbial phrase. This often is at the beginning of a sentence in order to describe the reason for something else in the sentence.

Being the oldest in his family, he was the first child to go to college.

The phrase should directly relate to the rest of the sentence. As StonyB points out in his comment, while something can be grammatical it can also make no sense. In your examples, there is no relation between the person being "over there" and her being your girlfriend, so you would not use this structure. Instead it should be simple:

That person over there is my girlfriend.

On the other hand you could say something like this:

Being shy, my girlfriend likes to stay near me when we go to parties.

You can rephrase this as "because she is shy ..." and use the "being" phrase in a similar way.

Additionally, you should not confuse this use of "being" with the present continuous use:

Please stop, you are being really annoying.

Or the noun:

He loved her with his whole being.

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