I'm not sure "Being away" is a present participle or a gerund ? If it's a gerund , according to the rule "possessive before gerund" ,then "I'm used to his being away" should be correct. Am i right ?

  • Think this way - I'm used to his absence (being away).
    – Maulik V
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 11:18
  • Before I checked anything, I thought, "I'm used to him being away sounds more natural". After I tried to analyzed the sentence, I thought, "Probably, his being away is more correct." So I checked Google Ngram, and I got this. Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 12:54
  • Similar: in spite of him/his at EL&U.
    – choster
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking either cases may be correct:
1. I saw him doing the job.
2. Despite his being away I did it.
In our case the gerund (the noun form of the verb in its progressive form) is more appropriate.
As a result, using a verb as a noun, it becomes possessive. The phrase should read: "I’m used to his being away”.

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