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I see the phrase "have/has been without" in a translation work. But I'am not sure about the feeling that this may want to express. Is it in a mood of helpless complaining or something else.

This is the original text: "This child has been without a mother from the moment he entered this world". What kind of emotion does the speaker express?

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  • More surrounding context, please. On its own it doesn't express any particular mood.
    – James K
    Jan 5, 2020 at 10:48
  • Thanks for your comment! This is the original text: "This child has been without a mother from the moment he entered this world". What kind of emotion does the speaker express?
    – IAN
    Jan 5, 2020 at 14:43
  • "has been" does not express any emotion at all. Jan 5, 2020 at 14:51

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To "be without" is to lack something. It has the same meaning as "not have". It is usually used about things that you would want.

Peter is without his usual tennis partner, as she is sick.

(Peter wants to have his usual partner, but she isn't available.)

Present perfect has the usual meaning of "starting in the past and continuing until now".

It is not a complaint but it would be unusual to say it about something that you don't want. "Peter has been without a wart on his nose": grammatically correct but a little odd.

In the actual example "being without a mother" suggests that she died (in childbirth) and is not simply absent. That is a sad meaning, it is not a complaint, helpless or otherwise.

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  • Thank you so much for your explaination!
    – IAN
    Jan 6, 2020 at 13:16

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