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I have recently encountered some sentences relating to being while reading some books. However, the sentences don't make a sense for me because I can't understand them. Could you explain me the sentences and the usage of beings.

  1. If the parameters to a constructor do not, in and of themselves, describe the object being returned, a static factory with a well-chosen name is easier to use and the resulting client code easier to read.

  2. Object-oriented programs work the other way around. They are organized around data, with the key principle being "data controlling access to code."

  3. The block being labeled can be a stand-alone block, or a statement that has a block as its target.

When I pay attention usage of the beings following past participle forms of verb comes after a name.

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  • You obviously need to listen to a few segments of On Being.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:02
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    The first and third examples are similar in implicitly including "that is" before the word being: "the object [that is] being returned" and "The block [that is] being labeled" are the sense of those two phrases. The second example does not follow that pattern; there, the wording "with the key principle being" amounts to saying "and the key principle governing their organization is." So in examples 1 and 3, the word being serves a fundamentally different syntactical purpose from the one it serves in example 2.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:30
  • @HotLicks: ...or read a bit of Hegel.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 2:33

2 Answers 2

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A participle directly following a noun phrase is often identical unchanged in meaning if the words "who/which is/was/are/were" are inserted between the noun phrase and the participle: this is known to grammarians as "WHIZ-deletion". It makes no difference whether the participle is an (active) present participle:

"The man walking along the road" = "The man who is/was walking along the road"

or a past participle:

"The job finished last Thursday" = "The job which was finished last Thursday".

Here the construction with "being" effectively forms a present continuous passive participle:

"the object being returned" = "the object which is being returned". (This differs from "the object [which is] returned" only in that it is setting the temporal focus during the return of the object, rather than treating the return as a point event.

Similarly "The block [which is] being labeled" is different from "The block [which is] labeled" in focussing on the on-going process of labelling it.

As others have said, your example 2 is different, as "being" is not followed by a participle (so it is not any kind of a passive construction) and it is preceded by "with NP". This makes it a kind of absolute clause, giving background information not grammatically connected to the main clause. Such clauses usually have their verbs as participles, and here, the verb is "be", in participal form. The meaning of "with the key principle being ... " is not very different from "and the key principle is ... ".

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  • `Such clauses usually have their verbs as participles, and here, the verb is "be", in participal form. -- Is there any english subject/website to consolidate/learn? Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 13:27
  • There are three other posts where you mention participal that you might want to check through ell.stackexchange.com/search?q=user%3A1780+participal .
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:56
  • It is a typo, but I intended participial.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:59
  • Sorry, I got it mixed up. In fact it's participial in all four typos. It seems you prefer not to fix the typos. P.S I didn't receive any notification, I wasn't pinged, but I came back to see if the comment had been acknowledged.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 21:47
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Passive construction: X being + past participle = a passive construction of sentence: 1) If the parameters to a constructor do not, in and of themselves, describe the object [that are] being returned [by the software], a static factory with a well-chosen name is easier to use and the resulting client code easier to read.

The key principle being = where the key principle is = same meaning 2) Object-oriented programs work the other way around. They are organized around data, where the key principle is “data controlling access to code.”

3) has the same structure as 1) // 3) The block that is being labeled [by the program] can be a stand-alone block, or a statement that has a block as its target.

[That is] being + past participle, is a passive construction means: the process that is occuring. The principle [that is] being explained here is sometimes difficult to understand.

VERSUS being used to replace Where X is Y.

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