What does below sentences mean by using "Being"

"He was cought by police being stealing cash from temple."

  • 1
    The sentence does not seem to be grammatical... where did you find this sentence? – oerkelens Jul 14 '14 at 11:44
  • It looks like a variant of He was caught by police while he was stealing cash from [a/the] temple. Very likely from donation boxes. – Damkerng T. Jul 14 '14 at 11:48
  • Or... he was being caught by police while stealing cash from the temple. – Maulik V Jul 14 '14 at 11:54

The insertion of being is not grammatical. However, it looks like an attempt to remove potential ambiguity from the passive voice: If you say

He was caught by police stealing cash from the temple

it is possible to read it as "He was caught by [police (who were) stealing cash from the temple]" instead of "He was caught [by police] (while he was) stealing cash from the temple".

Different combinations of actors, verbs and prepositional clauses make the ambiguity much more or much less likely. I would say in this case that there was really only a very slight chance of being misunderstood, because you expect the police to catch criminals, not to be performing crimes themselves; whereas if the sentence was "He was found by a man throwing up", it's a lot easier to think "a man who was throwing up found him?" since you have no preconceived notions of what "a man" might be doing as part of finding someone, and then you have to go back and re-read it to realize "oh, he was throwing up when the man found him."

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