Which sentence is correct, and why?

1) It's awesome being by the water.

2) It's awesome to be by the water.

  • 1
    Both could be, depending on context. "being" is more in the moment. "to be" is more about a non-current or desired situation.
    – user3169
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 20:32
  • 1
    It's possible to answer this question about awesome, but it's not really possible to answer generally about "after adjectives". Different adjectives are different.
    – user230
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


Both usages are equally correct. In both examples, you are using a verb (being, to be) in place of a noun.

In the first case, you are using the gerund form of the verb, and in the second, you are using the infinitive. The gerund is the more common usage in American English, and is easily identified in most cases by a verb with the -ing ending.

Here is a link to a page from Capital Community College that explains this kind of construction in more detail.

Idomatically, as @user3169 pointed out, being is used more often in the moment, and to be is used more in the abstract. So use being when you are actually standing on the beach, right next to the water, and to be when you are talking about that situation in general.

  • "use being when you are actually standing by the beach... and to be when you're talking about that situation in general." At the risk of confounding the OP, what about the conflation and reversal of the two forms i.e., "It's awesome to be here by the water." versus "It's awesome being by the water in summer." No, the OP didn't ask about these two specifically, but I think it's highly interesting how merely one or two words can throw things fully around... Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 0:55
  • oh, and +1 for the great link - very useful site! Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 0:57
  • 1
    Sure thing, @Howard! I feel like when you specify the time or place, like "here by the water" or "by the water in summer", the implied temporal/positional difference between being and to be disappears, and is replaced by the time or place that you specified.
    – Egghead99
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 3:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .