I read this sentence from the Washington Post.

“Being down more than 100 officers is very problematic,” a former senior Secret Service supervisor told The Post. “That does not bode well for White House security.”

I think it should be like :

More than 100 officers being down is very problematic.

Is it because the sentence is started with "being"? Is it legitimate to use inversion here.


The subject of this sentence is "Being more than 100 officers down" It is a participle/gerund phrase.

This phrase is formed in the same way as "We are more than 100 officers down" There is no inversion here, the phrase "more than 100 officers down is a complement to the verb and comes after it.

The gerund phrase has an implied subject. This is quite normal for gerunds.

Your re-arrangement changes the meaning slightly from

"We are 100 officers down, and this is problematic"


"100 officers are down, and this is problematic"

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