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As far as I know, when two things happen at the same time, I can combine them with using participles.

Such as :

Kate is in the kitchen and she is making coffee.

to

Kate is in the kitchen making coffee.

Is using "being" okay in reduced "to be" phrases? I mean are those sentences below grammatically okay?

1- I sat there, still waiting, being worried that she would never arrive. (... and I was worried ...)

2- I was preaparing the food , my friends being sick of waiting. (I was preparing the food and my friends were sick of waiting)

3- Being shocked by his death, I passed out. (When I was shocked by his death...)

4- The word “book” has a double meaning , the noun form being “ a set of pages inside a cover”, while the verb form is "to arrange to have a seat etc. at a particular time in the future"

Can I omit the "being" in my examples?

1'- I sat there, still waiting, worried that she would never arrive.

2'- I was preaparing the food , my friends sick of waiting.

3'- Shocked by his death, I passed out

4'- The word “book” has a double meaning , the noun form “ a set of pages inside a cover”.

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  • A similar post for anyone interested: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/209072/…
    – Cardinal
    Jun 8, 2019 at 17:27
  • You can remove being from 1 and 3, but not 2 and 4.
    – windblade
    Jun 8, 2019 at 21:59
  • @windblade Could you describe the reason in detail? Jun 8, 2019 at 22:05
  • I think it's that "being" can be omitted from the beginning of a phrase, but not from the middle of a phrase.
    – windblade
    Jun 8, 2019 at 22:18
  • @windblade Hi. You said we can't omit the "being" in 2 and 4 but I see constructions of absoluete phrases and they omit "being". For example : "Six banks were robbed in three weeks, the undermanned police force (being) helpless to intervene." Jun 17, 2019 at 11:14

2 Answers 2

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Yes, I would say you can remove being from all four, but some may require an additional verb. Like for the second one, I might say, 'my friends were sick of waiting.' Choosing were as the plural past tense to match was in the first half of your sentence.

Being in my mind, if I use it as a verb at all, it's like referring to the act of /state of being or used as a noun.For example:

a human being or Being constantly late is not a good habit.

I actually can't think of any examples were I would use being except at the beginning of a sentence. In colloquial speech, you might hear someone say, 'I don't know why he's being so crazy' to mean, 'acting so crazy' or 'is so crazy'. But it isn't formally grammatically correct, I don't think.

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  • But what I am trying to do is omit some verbs to produce a compound sentence by using participle clauses. For example: I was preaparing the food + in the meantime my friends were sick of waiting. = I was preaparing the food, my friends (being) sick of waiting. I mean if I use "were" here I don't produce a compound sentence here. This is just the opposite of what I am trying to do. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:24
  • Gotcha. You could say, 'Waiting for me to finish cooking, my friends were getting tired of waiting.' That's a participle clause, I think. @TalhaÖzden
    – EmKhay
    Jun 17, 2019 at 11:27
  • Yes this one works. But my question here is about omitting "being" . :) "I was preaparing the food, my friends (being) sick of waiting." Can I omit the "being" ? because I have seen sentences that omit "being" such as : "Six banks were robbed in three weeks, the undermanned police force (being) helpless to intervene." Jun 17, 2019 at 11:28
  • I answered that, I thought. You should omit 'being' it sounds weird in all of the sentences, I think. As a native American speaker.
    – EmKhay
    Jun 17, 2019 at 11:30
  • But you said you may require an additional verb instead of "being" ? Can I omit "being" in these examples and leave them as they are? Jun 17, 2019 at 11:32
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1- I sat there, still waiting, being worried that she would never arrive. (... and I was worried ...)

This is grammatically correct, but awkward. We would normally say "worrying" or "worried" rather than "being worried".

1'- I sat there, still waiting, worried that she would never arrive.

This is fine.


2- I was preaparing the food , my friends being sick of waiting. (I was preparing the food and my friends were sick of waiting)

This absolute construction doesn't really mean that the speaker was preparing the food and that his/her friends were sick of waiting; rather, it suggests that the speaker was preparing the food because his/her friends were sick of waiting.

By the way, there should not be a space before the comma.

2'- I was preaparing the food , my friends sick of waiting.

This is awkward at best, though it's hard to explain why. Absolute constructions with adjectives do exist, but they're not quite as flexible as ones with participles. Instead, you could say something like:

With my friends sick of waiting, I had no choice but to go prepare the food.


3- Being shocked by his death, I passed out. (When I was shocked by his death...)

This is very awkward; I could imagine it in a book from the 1800s, but not in present-day writing (let alone speech).

Honestly, in present-day writing I would expect simply:

I passed out.

since the context should make it obvious that the speaker was shocked; but if you really need to drive home the point with a modifier, you could write:

Shocked by his death, I passed out.

as you suggest.


4- The word “book” has a double meaning , the noun form being “ a set of pages inside a cover”, while the verb form is "to arrange to have a seat etc. at a particular time in the future"

The word being is fine here, but there are some other problems.

Firstly, "has a double meaning" does not mean "has two senses". (And book actually has many more than two senses.) But maybe I'm misunderstanding the intended context of this example?

Secondly, the noun and verb senses aren't distinct forms.

Thirdly, it's a bit odd to speak of "the" noun and "the" verb when there's been no indication before that point that there exist one noun sense and one verb sense. (Though this is mainly an issue because in reality there exist many senses; if there were really exactly two senses, I probably wouldn't blink at "the noun sense" and "the verb sense".)

Lastly, there are some formatting issues with the punctuation.

So this should probably be something like:

The word book has multiple senses, including a verb sense meaning "to reserve in advance" and a noun sense meaning "a set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together between a front and back cover".

4'- The word “book” has a double meaning , the noun form “ a set of pages inside a cover”.

This doesn't really work.

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