It was a stormy day. We stayed inside the house.

It being a stormy day, we stayed inside the house.

Source: Absolute phrase on EnglishGrammar

I'd like to see if the patterns hold if the subject is a proper noun such as Jake?

Absolute phrase in the past form:

  1. Jake was late. His friends left without him.
  2. Jake [being/having been] late, his friends left without him.

Absolute phrase in the present form:

  1. Jake is often late. His friends leave without him.
  2. Jake being often late, his friends leave without him.

There are no problems with commas in the absolute form but the participial form is tricky on account of commas.

  1. Jake's friends leave without him being often late.

If a comma is added, how is sentence six different from sentence five?

  1. Jake's friends leave without him, being often late.

Who is late in five and six, Jake or his friends?

1 Answer 1


In five, neither Jake nor his friends are late; the friends leave, and do so without Jake being late. In six, Jake's friends are late; it is at this point a compound verb; Jake's friends leave while being late.

In addition, I believe the meaning you intended to convey in 4, 5, and 6 would have the words "being" and "often" in the other order; the fact we are trying to convey about Jake is that he is often late, not that he is always late in an often fashion.

If you wanted to use the form of six, you could say, "Jake's friends leave without him, he often being late."

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