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 Sep 24 '18 at 15:27

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

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