1

Is it possible for a clause to be reduced when it uses the verb "to be"? Here's an example sentence:

When I'm lazy, I usually sleep.

Can I reduce the when clause here to:

When being lazy, I usually sleep.

?

  • 2
    Yes, but why would you want to do that? – BillJ Sep 24 '18 at 8:43
  • 2
    Because s|he's lazy, I suppose. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 24 '18 at 12:03
  • It could be reduced even more: When lazy, I sleep. (This is also a semantic reduction as the frequency adverb has been removed.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Sep 24 '18 at 15:27
1

If the meaning is clear, we often leave out words in conversation. It's called ellipsis.

So, you can even omit "I'm" or "being' and say "When lazy, I usually sleep." Please note that the sentence is informal now, unlike "When I'm lazy, I usually sleep", which is neutral.

  • but omitting the conjunction changes the meaning to "I am habitually lazy ..." – amI Oct 16 '18 at 3:07
  • @aml right... “being lazy” is not the same as “when lazy”. Not to confuse anyone here, I have edited my answer. Thank you for your comment. – Enguroo Oct 16 '18 at 7:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.