1. Being a child, he could not understand how severe the situation was.
  2. As a child, he lived with his parents abroad for a long time.

Questions about first sentence: should I use 'being a child' or 'having been a child' because it’s about the past? Or maybe there is any other option to say that?

Questions about second sentence: should I use 'as a child' or 'being a child' or 'when he was a child'?

1 Answer 1

  1. Being a child, he could not understand... If you wanted to use having been a child, you would have to continue he had not understood.

  2. As a child implies when he was a child, so you can use either - but not being a child, which has the sense because he was a child.

  • I'm not sure how likely it is that you'd want to use having been a child to "explain" anything! Maybe it's worth saying having had a child in some contexts, because not everyone is a parent, so it could be relevant to mention that "special background". But since everyone was a child (apart from those who are still being children), that wouldn't normally be "useful information". Dec 7, 2021 at 18:27
  • ...but here's Her solitude in extreme old age shocks him, for as a dutiful son he had cared for his mother until her death... Where I'd be inclined to say being would be maybe slightly more "elegant", but both versions are fine, and they both carry the because sense, not when, at that time. Dec 7, 2021 at 18:39

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