I'd like to know whether "being" can be left out in the following sentences. Would it sound awkward to keep it?

a. John has over 20 cars, among them (being) a Mercedes-Benz.

b. John associates with many famous people, among them (being) Bill Gates and Liv Tyler.

I'd appreciate your help.

2 Answers 2


It is acceptable to drop the word "being" in your examples.

They are both examples of what is called a verbless clause. These are when a verb is implied but not present.


It does sound worse than awkward to say among them being ...

P.S. Why does it sound so bad to my ear there? When among them being is used, there is typically an adjective predicated of the subject in the clause:

There are a number of poisonous snakes in Africa, the deadliest among them being the black mamba.

But in your examples you are just presenting a noun or a couple of nouns of which nothing is being predicated in the clause. This would sound fine to my ear:

John associates with many famous people, chief among them being Bill Gates and Liv Tyler.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review
    – user3169
    Dec 19, 2018 at 20:57
  • It does answer the question "Would it sound awkward to keep it [i.e. being]".
    – TimR
    Dec 20, 2018 at 3:16
  • But wouldn't some explanation why be appropriate? To me, "sound worse" or "sound awkward" are subject to interpretation by the listener. Granted the question itself is more asking an opinion when saying "Would it sound awkward...", but I think any answer should focus on the grammar involved, not how it sounds.
    – user3169
    Dec 20, 2018 at 6:47

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