When being functions as gerund, it should be included. On the other hand, when it is a kind of reduced relative clause, it can be omitted, right? How about this example? In my opinion, it shouldn't be omitted, as health insurance companies only recently being required~ functions as the fact, including a gerund being. Am I right about this?

If someone told you that your aunt is ill, you would probably assume that she has cancer, heart disease, had an accident, or came down with a common cold. What these conditions have in common is that they are all physical ailments. And yet, people can develop mental impairment, can be emotionally unstable, or be socially isolated. These, too, are illnesses. Illness is defined as one of the components of health not functioning as well as it should. Although we may know this intellectually, we tend not to think of nonphysical ailments when we speak of illness. That is because we view nonphysical ailments as less serious than physical ailments, and this view is reinforced by the medical and health establishment. Evidence for this conclusion can be seen by health insurance companies only recently being required to cover mental illness in a similar fashion as they have covered physical illness for many years. Illness encompasses much more than merely being physically ill.

Empowering Health Decisions

1 Answer 1


From the point of view of traditional grammar, the sentence is not well formed. The evidence can be seen not by the health insurance companies but by their "being required to . . .". Because that phrase functions as an object (complement) of the preposition "by", it should be headed by a nominal, in this case the gerund "being". In that case, though, what is the function of "health insurance companies"? The common way to resolve that dilemma is to make it possessive:

Evidence for this conclusion can be seen by health insurance companies' only recently being required to . . .

Therefore, "being" must be included, as you indicated.

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