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  1. We managed to climb over the wall without being seen.

  2. We managed to climb over the wall without we were being seen.

Are these sentences exactly the same? if so is there any special name for the reduction in the first sentence? Is it present or past participle clause? I am so confused.

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  • #2 makes no sense. #1 is the only correct way to say it. I don't know if there is a name for the "reduction" in it, since it isn't really a reduction of anything else. – stangdon Aug 20 '18 at 21:46
  • Okey , if we use while instead of without for instances : "We managed to climb over the wall while not being seen" or "We managed to climb over the wall while we were not being seen". – Talha Özden Aug 20 '18 at 22:02
  • "...while not being seen" is OK. "...while we were not being seen" seems technically grammatically correct, but it also sounds very clumsy and non-fluent. – stangdon Aug 20 '18 at 22:06
  • By the way, being is only ever the present participle of to be. The past participle of to be is been. – stangdon Aug 20 '18 at 22:07
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Your first example is correct and idiomatic.

Your second is not. Without is a preposition. You can't follow it with I or we which are used to form the subjects of sentences. You would have to say: without our being seen but the our is unnecessary. It adds nothing to the meaning.

Other options are:

We managed to climb over the wall without anyone seeing us.

and

We managed to climb over the wall without having been seen.

and

We managed to climb over the wall without alerting anyone.

But none of these improves your first example.

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