It's got nothing to do with you being blind.

Link to the movie: https://youtu.be/afaNyISP2dI?t=1h23m24s

Please, go to 01:23:23.

I've never seen a sentence like that before. Learning this type of sentences can improve my ability to express in English.

Why there's no tense in the second part of this sentence? When can I use verbs like that? What's the rule? Would you give me more examples (with verbs other than the verb "To be"), please?

I would say "It's got nothing to do with you" or "It's got nothing to do with being blind" or "It's got nothing to do with the fact that you're blind".

So I know that when I would like to add two sentences together, I should use the word "That" or any other conjunction. And sometimes the conjunction is omitted but the verb is conjugated.

In this sentences, there's no verb conjugation. No conjunction word. So How can I form a sentence like that? And when I should use them?

Thanks in advance,

  • 1
    being isn't exactly "tenseless", it's a gerund or participle. Note that the part that includes being isn't a sentence, it's a phrase, part of a larger sentence; it could not stand on its own as a valid sentence.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 18:06
  • 4
    "You being blind" is a non-finite (tenseless) clause, where "you" is subject and "being blind" is predicate. It can be paraphrased as "the fact that you are blind".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 18:14
  • @BillJ: I'm not sure it's entirely "tenseless". I'll admit I'm not too hot on the precise terminology for things verb tense / aspect / mode, but might it not be relevant to note that you could modify OP's "gerund verb/noun" into It's got nothing to do with you/your having been blind (in certain rather unusual contexts, admittedly). Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 18:23
  • 2
    @FF: BillJ is right. Gerunds and infinitives have no tense; they constitute the untensed types of subordinate clause, contrasting with the tensed types. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 21:40
  • "In this sentences, there's no verb conjugation." The sentence does indeed have a verb: it's (it has). You started off talking only about the "second part" of the sentence . . . Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 23:04

3 Answers 3


Let's take a look at the following sentence -

It's got nothing to do with you

I believe you understand the tense being used here and the grammatical structure of this sentence, so I am not elaborating on that. Now, let's modify the sentence just a bit -

It's got nothing to do with your car

Does this make sense? Your car in this sentence is the object of the sentence, your is the possessive pronoun that is merely there to provide us information about the car that is the real object here but that needs to be qualified with your. Since it's not a general car we are talking about here; we are talking about your car.

Now, let's modify it a little again -

It's got nothing to do with your driving.

Similar structure like the last sentence. Car has been replaced by driving which, just like car in the last sentence, is a noun (it's called a gerund and is obtained by adding ing at the end of a verb). But your driving is the object of the sentence.

Let's modify the sentence once more, just a little -

It's got nothing to do with your being blind

Well, this is how the sentence you wrote should've been structured, if one went by the strict norms of the English grammar. And in this structure, I believe it is evident that your being blind is nothing more than the object of the sentence and being blind is working as a noun, like car or driving. Being in this sentence is working as a gerund which is obtained by adding ing to the verb 'to be'. As mentioned by others in the comments, another way to structure this sentence can be -

It's got nothing to do with the fact that you are blind.

In which case we replace the gerund or the noun form of 'to be' (being) with the verbal form (are).

Edit: Adding an additional line of explanation in light of the conversation that happened in the comments. It's got nothing to do with you being blind can be deemed correct as well. 'Your' is the grammatically correct option and if one wants to follow the norms of the language, one should use 'your' only, but 'you' has become colloquially accepted at a wide scale and so, in day to day speech and in fictional works, 'you' is used almost exclusively. But that doesn't change the fact that grammatically 'your' is the right pronoun to use.

  • In a movie, I heard it like "you being blind" not "youR being blind". So you mean that I misheard it. You may be right cuz my listening skills aren't that good. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 20:08
  • I think she says: You. Here's the link: youtu.be/afaNyISP2dI?t=1h23m24s Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 20:50
  • 3
    @user2824371 "you" and "your" are interchangeable here in colloquial speech. Pretty sure "your" is technically correct, but most people would say "you*.
    – user428517
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 21:03
  • 1
    As @sgroves mentioned, colloquially, 'you' is used more often than 'your'. It is like 'who' vs. 'whom'; people hardly use 'whom' in their day to day interactions. If one goes by the rules of grammar, 'your' is the prescribed option. You might find 'your' used more often in non-fiction writing. I used it here to drive my point home as it does make the sentence structure clearer to understand.
    – user18593
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 3:26
  • Another phrasing: "it's got nothing to do with your blindness"
    – arp
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 18:42

Are there tenseless sentences in English?

I'm going to use a simplified model and terminology to illustrate some concepts and explain.

Let's take normal English "statements" - sentences that are not questions or requests. Normal English statements have "slots" you have to fill in, in a specific order.

  • (Slot 1) a subject has to be expressed,
  • (Slot 2) then a verb must follow, which must agree with the subject,
  • (Slot 3, optional) then objects of that verb can appear, or other complements of the verb.

Adverbs can be between these slots (e.g. the word even or only).

I am walking to the park - I (subject for slot 1) am walking (verb for slot 2) to the park (complement for slot 3).

All complete normal standard English statements will have a "slot 2" and a verb will be there.

Almost all English verbs have four forms, with two forms being the same for all regular verbs. I also added a fifth "form" ... you'll see why.

  • Plain - walk, drive, throw, run
  • "-ed" form - walked, drove, threw, ran
  • "-ing" form - walking, driving, throwing, running,
  • "-en" form - walked, driven, thrown, run [same as "-ed" form for most verbs]
  • Infintive form - to walk, to drive, to throw, to run [sometimes to isn't needed]

The last 3 in this list can be used to express a category of words called "verbals" - these use words related to verbs, but aren't strictly verbs. They can appear in slots other than slot 2.

It (subject, slot 1) 's got (verb--has got--slot 2) nothing to do with you being (VERBAL) blind.

Some verbals can be perfect, but aren't really tensed. But because a sentence's verbal doesn't have a tense, does not mean the whole sentence doesn't have a tense.

The whole sentence's tense is mostly controlled by the slot 2 verb, which must be present (otherwise you don't have a whole sentence).

It's got nothing to do with you being blind.

So this whole sentence is present tense (It's got = it has got which is present tense)

A perfect verbal (or verb) has the word "have" or "had" it. Whether something is "perfect" or not gets into a notion of "aspect" and should be a separate question.

To have gone (verbal--infinitive) to the store was a dream of mine.


Using gerunds in English.

This should get you started.

Gerunds are commonly used as nouns in English and so are gerund phrases:

  • Singing is fun.

  • Playing tennis is fun. (Note: this one is a gerund phrase)

  • Being rich can be a drag. (Note: this is also a gerund phrase)

Often gerunds are often accompanied by possessive pronouns:

  • my, your, his/her/its, our, their:

For example: Your singing is fun. Their being rich is a drag. Its screeching was getting on my nerves.

Furthermore, these gerunds and gerund phrases can be used in several different grammatical ways:

1) as a subject: Flying is often tedious for frequent flyers.

2) as a direct object: They heard my playing and complained to the manager.

3) as the object of a preposition: It's got nothing to do with your being blind. (This is a gerund phrase)

4) as a subject complement: His favorite activity is swimming.

Gerund nouns and phrases do not have tenses because they function like nouns.

In the sentence asked about here: there is an idiom involved. The idiom is: to not have something to do with something, which also exists in the declarative form. After the preposition with, you can have a gerund noun or gerund phrase or a "regular" noun.

  • It's got nothing to do with being silly.
  • It's got everything to do with being honest.
  • It's got everything to do with boats.

All those can be preceded by a possessive.

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