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The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons, among them being to moisten the eyes, to protect them from substances...

It was hard for me to understand the structure of the sentence above. To infinitive after being is new to me. Would you explain to me why being is used before to moisten and the meaning of it?

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    It is hard for you to understand because it is very bad English.The gerund-participle being has no meaning here, and serves no purpose. It is very idiomatic and ungrammatical dialect English. The sentence is properly: "The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons, among them to moisten the eyes, to protect them from substances..." The sentence may have been written by a non-native English speaker. Jun 29, 2017 at 6:09
  • I got that sentence from toefl "ibt code breaker reading 🤤 it's on the page 50.
    – user51561
    Jun 29, 2017 at 10:48
  • You should not rely upon "IBT Code breaker" for correct, accurate, or proper English in preparing for TOEFL. Instead, use material written by English speakers. Jun 29, 2017 at 13:55
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    The sentence is actually fine. Native speakers do talk and write that way. It might take a few days before you get an answer that explains what purpose the word "being" serves here.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jun 29, 2017 at 21:31
  • Sometimes using more words helps the speaker feel more intelligent.
    – Davo
    Jun 30, 2017 at 0:21

1 Answer 1

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The use of "among them being" is not strongly connected to the use of an infinitive, even though the infinitive happens to follow it. To see this better, you can separately replace "among them being" and "to moisten" and see that the meaning remains intact.

The original sentence is:

The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons, among them being to moisten the eyes, to protect them from substances...

The sentence could be rephrased to retain "among them being" but use "the fact that" to avoid using the infinitive form of the verbs:

The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons, among them being the fact that they moisten the eyes, the fact that they protect them from substances...

Another equivalent, which removes "among them being", but retains the infinitive, would be this:

The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons. One is to moisten the eyes. Another is to protect them from substances...

Another equivalent, though not as good, would be this:

The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons. One is moistening the eyes. Another is protecting them from substances...

This interchangeability illustrates that the "being" and the infinitive are not closely linked.

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