While reading a letter I found the sender wrote, "I hope you will forgive me for being so thoughtless.

If I rewrite it, should it look like,

  • "I hope you will forgive me because I was so thoughtless."
  • "I hope you will forgive me because what I did is wrong."

I was just wondering the part of the expression, for being so thoughtless; is that a present continuous tense! Not sure about the grammatical format.

  • Does your English dictionary tell you what the adjective thoughtless means? Your two sentences are not exactly equivalent in meaning, but the word thoughtless implies that the writer believes he or she acted improperly. The first sentence is closest to the meaning of the original. Yes: "Being so thoughless" is present continuous. Jul 11 '17 at 5:18
  • Hi, I found that you edited my question and makes it short. I will appreciate if you give an explanation for that change as well, because sometimes I write verbosely where I should be more careful I think. That was also an inline expression where I should pay my heed. Thanks in advance!
    – Fida Hasan
    Jul 11 '17 at 5:26
  • The exposition "It was something he did was not right anyway!" has no bearing on the question of grammar. Jul 11 '17 at 5:31
  • Yes, :) I definitely know the meaning of 'thoughtless'. However, if I say, "It is something he did, is not right, anyway!" Whether its bear on the grammar? While we speak, actually we don't care about it, or we do care! As English is not my first language, sometimes something puzzled me made me stuck in my thought process. I think, in academic writing, I can cope with successfully but while I write what usually I say, things are getting challenging. So, a little bit more explanting would be highly appreciated in this verge.
    – Fida Hasan
    Jul 11 '17 at 5:41
  • 1
    You ask a very simple question. "Being [so] thoughtless" is indeed the present continuous tense of the copula. Whether the letter writer did right or wrong, in your opinion, has no bearing on the question of grammar. We don't need to know about it to answer the question. Jul 11 '17 at 5:45

People don't forgive you because you were thoughtless. The word because is misused there. Rather, they forgive because you are sorry.

Because introduces the reason for the action in the prior clause. It wants a clausal complement (you are sorry).

for introduces what is being forgiven. They forgave him for his misdeed. The preposition for wants a nominal complement (his misdeed).

The nominal counterpart to am thoughtless or was thoughtless is being thoughtless.

They forgave him for being thoughtless.

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