A: Why didn't you include this song in your newly released album?
B: _________ could be, it was a poor fit that had to be abandoned.

(a) As pedestrian as
(b) Being as pedestrian as
(c) Having been as pedestrian as
(d) It was as pedestrian as

In this question, the right answer is (b).
According to Answers & Explanation, choice (a) is wrong because omitting "being" in a participial construction occurs only before 'past participle.'

Is that right?
I'm still thinking that (a) is not wrong in the sense that the given sentence is not a participial construction but rather a verbless clause where adjectives—here, pedestrian—can be used as a sentence starter.

Thank you in advance.

  • So would you consider "Pedestrian, it was a poor fit that had to be abandoned." grammatical? – Acccumulation Dec 7 '17 at 2:43
  • No, I don't think an adjective itself can be a verbless cause. – Dani Dec 7 '17 at 3:14
  • Example 1: "Similar to other organ systems, this collagen formation increases tissue strength." I mean 'Similar,' an adjective, is a sentence starter. Example 2: "As good as this burger tasted, he should have ordered two." I'm wondering if this type of sentence is wrong because it omits 'Being'. – Dani Dec 7 '17 at 3:25
  • Your second example may be what the question was trying to get at. "Tasted" is a part participle. I kind of think something may be being badly explained here, but I still don't have enough information to figure it out. – joiedevivre Dec 7 '17 at 3:46
  • I think "tasted" is past tense. Consider a case where the past tense and past participle are morphologically different: "As quickly as this shovel broke, I don't think I'll buy that brand again." – Acccumulation Dec 7 '17 at 15:47

Well, (a) is wrong. It creates an incomplete thought in English grammar and leaves listeners waiting for you to finish it.

The only one that completely fits grammatically and syntactically is (b).

That being said, my preferred answer is actually (d). But you'd have to be able to change the comma in the answer to a semicolon or better yet add "so" (i.e., "it was as pedestrian as could be, so it was a poor fit"). Since you can't change anything, it wouldn't be right on the test, and that leaves (b) as the only possible choice.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "verbless" clause. I don't think such a thing exists. There are ways to start sentences with adjectives, but I'd need more specific examples to tell you why this would be different.

  • I really appreciate your kind answer. And I'm sorry that the idea of 'verbless clause' causes unnecessary confusion that I didn't intend to. With regard to the question, I thought at first that choice (a) might be right, like other expressions shown in "As good as this burger tasted, he should have ordered two," or "As painful as the decision had been, reaching it brought considerable relief." Although I fully understand your explanation, I don't know about the standard by which some sentences should begin with 'Being' and others not. – Dani Dec 7 '17 at 4:05
  • I think part of the problem might be specifically tying this to the word "being" instead of a more abstract grammatical concept. I could just as easily use some other gerund "Seeing as the piece was as pedestrian as could be, it didn't fit." The point is that, according to the quiz answer, you have a past participle, "tasted" and "had (been)" in both of your answers here. On the other hand "could be" is a modal construction without a past participle. I still don't completely understand what your lessons are getting at, but I hope that helps! – joiedevivre Dec 7 '17 at 4:16
  • Hm, sorry, I didn't make a very good grammatical equivalent in my example. I think, maybe, I've just never thought about this grammar in precisely the terms your lesson is giving you. – joiedevivre Dec 7 '17 at 4:19
  • I'm not sure if it's actually a grammatical rule, but it seems strange for a clause to not include a verb in it. Actually now that I think of it, for the song to be abandoned, it needed a reason, and that's in the form of "noun verb" - eg, "it was bad - so we abandoned it". You couldn't really say - "bad, so we abandoned it". Anyway that's my reasoning, not very scholarly, I know! :) – Snowy Oz Dec 7 '17 at 5:25
  • Thank you all! I'm scrutinizing some other sentences beginning with "Being" whereby I could get a hint in identifying any grammatical relation among past participle, modal construction, and the usage of "Being," as joiedevivre says. And the example, which Snowy Oz mentions with regard to the fallacy of using an adjective alone as a sentence starter, is so impressive that I want to keep and quote it for my study group members. I appreciate you. – Dani Dec 7 '17 at 13:31

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