# Importance and usage of being in relative clause

An underflow is the result of larger negative exponents not being available to represent the number.

What's the importance of usage of being here? Why is it used like that? What if I drop it from the sentence? Does meaning of the sentence change?

• I wouldn't say that the "larger ..." clause acts as a noun, but that is simply a non-finite clause as complement of the preposition "of". The whole expression following "is" functions as predicative complement of "be" in its ascriptive sense. I agree with the rest of Stoney's answer, though. – BillJ May 6 '18 at 6:37

Being is essential here. This is not a relative clause but a 'gerund' clause--that is to say, a clause acting as a 'noun' and headed by a verb in the -ing form. The clause "larger ... number" must act as a noun because it is the object of the preposition of.

The main clause of the sentence is

An underflow is the result of X.

X here, the cause of the underflow, is the proposition that

Larger negative exponents are not available to represent the number.

But in order for this proposition to be employed as the object of a preposition the verb in finite form, are, must be recast as a non-finite 'gerund', the -ing form of the verb.

of larger negative exponents not being available to represent the number.

Not is often, perhaps usually, moved in front of a gerund it negates.

• +1 Nice explanation. – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 6 '18 at 20:07
• What is the difference from the sentence An underflow is the result of larger negative exponents which are not available to represent the number. – snr May 7 '18 at 14:59
• and this sentence, An underflow is the result of not being larger negative exponents (which are) available to represent the number. – snr May 7 '18 at 15:12