2

The child was clearly puzzling at being addressed in such a grown-up way.

There is an error in the sentence, but I don't know where. I wonder whether I should change puzzling to puzzled like this:

The child was clearly puzzled at being addressed in such a grown-up way.

or change being to be like this:

The child was clearly puzzling at be addressed in such a grown-up way.

I think I should use be after at, and I'm not sure that puzzling in the sentence is correct.

Kindly help, I am really puzzled.

1 Answer 1

4

In this case the child is not puzzling (which means other people would be puzzled by the child!)

And as for be/being, the child is being addressed, which is what the child is puzzled at or wondering about.

So the correct sentence is:

The child was puzzled at being addressed in such a grown-up way.

1
  • At the risk of muddying this answer, which is quite correct, I will observe that "puzzling" can also be a verb that means attempting to work out an answer to something. "Puzzling at", however, wouldn't be typical; "puzzle over" means to go over a problem, presumably with a goal of solving it, and "puzzle out" means to work out an answer to a problem. So, I might puzzle over a complicated piece of software code to understand what it is doing, and I might then puzzle out the source of a bug in the code and fix it.
    – BobRodes
    Jan 30, 2014 at 20:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .