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Is there any difference between these sentences? Is either one preferred?

Feeling cold, she turned the heater on.

Being cold, she turned the heater on.

I somehow feel "Feeling" is more often used looking back my English experience. (I'm a teacher, not a student.)

To tell you the background, these are two possible answers for a question in my English workbook. There is not context because it's just a grammar drill. The correct answer list shows only "Feeling" as the correct answer, though it doesn't say "Being" is wrong.

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Both are grammatical.

According to ngram, "being cold" is more common in American English than "feeling cold"

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=feeling+cold%2Cbeing+cold&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=28&smoothing=3

Ngram , however, is a tool rather than a judge: it ignores context and differences in intended meaning. In your context, I believe you are absolutely correct that "feeling" is the right choice..

Being cold, it made my sore tooth ache when I bit into it.

Here we are talking about an objective state, something that could be verified with a thermometer.

Feeling cold, I wanted to cuddle, but my wife was restless.

Here we are talking about a subjective perception.

"Be" conveys an objective fact. "Feel" conveys a subjective perception.

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The correct answer list shows only "Feeling" as the correct answer, though it doesn't say "Being" is wrong.

Correct. "Feeling cold" is the better answer.

"Being cold" is awkward, but we do say "I am cold," and "It is cold," when we actually mean "I feel cold."

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  • Thanks. Do you have any idea why it's awkward to use "Being cold" while it's fine in other forms? I thought it might be because of the unclarity of the subject: the subject can be a (group of) person or "it" Wouldn't it be awkward in a sentence like "Being cold, it started to snow?" Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 6:26
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    @TommyHigginsELL The best I can explain, is "Being cold" implies that's how she is in her normal state, something that doesn't change: "Being 24 years old,..." "Being Portuguese,…" Being sensitive to the cold,…" whereas "Feeling cold,…" is a temporary sensory perception.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 6:33

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