My question is about absolute phrases.

The weather being nice, we decided to have a picnic.

Can we add "with" in front of the absolute phrase?

With the weather being nice, we decided to have a picnic.

  • What was bad with my edit? I made the title more readable, in order to help the visitors know right away what is being asked. – CowperKettle Nov 23 '15 at 12:00
  • I did not see your edit .I approved anderson's edit.What was your suggestion for the title? – Cihangir Çam Nov 23 '15 at 12:07
  • Ah, it was Anderson's edit. I beg your pardon. (0: I would've titled the question "Absolute phrase and 'with': "(With) the weather being nice, we decided to have a picnic."" – CowperKettle Nov 23 '15 at 12:21
  • You can add "with", but I would ask: exactly what meaning are you trying to convey? If you mean "because", there is a idiom what with that essentially means "because", used like "What with the weather being so bad, we decided to stay in." – stangdon Nov 23 '15 at 16:55

Yes, you can add "with" to the beginning of the sentence.

"the weather being nice" is a gerund - a present participle form of a verb, being used as a noun.

In spoken American English, it will also appear as: "We decided to have a picnic, what with the weather being nice and all".


"With the weather being nice, we decided to have a picnic" is perfectly acceptable English usage and, at least to my ear, preferable to "The weather being nice, we decided to have a picnic," which sounds a bit flat and lifeless. Where I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, we would say, "With the weather being nice, we decided to go on a picnic." Looking at it now, I see that "go on a picnic" might be idiomatic, perhaps mid-western (as my parents were raised and university-educated in Oklahoma before moving to Los Angeles).

Examples: "Let's go on a picnic!" "We went on a nice picnic last weekend." "Isn't it fun to go on a picnic? "After getting sick on our way home, I was sorry we had gone to that group picnic." "Going on a picnic is one of my favorite things to do." And so forth.

Driving out to the country and going on a picnic with my parents and sister created some of my best and happiest memories from childhood. Picnics are special, and your use of "with" is correct.

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