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"Although her public writing my seem pompous, her private writing appears relaxed and eloquent, as in the letters to her husband concerning her being working abroad."

I have a question about the words bold.

Normally, we non-native English learners are taught words that come after 'being' usually are adjectives, in the past participle form or nouns. Here we can see it's in the present participle form. In this case is it not a faulty sentence?


  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019

    It's a strange-sounding phrase, @mnahid89, but I wouldn't call it 'faulty'.

    What's so odd is that three of the four words end in -ing, but grammatically they're different from each other.

    • Concerning is a sort of preposition.
    • Being is the sort of verb form that is sometimes called a gerund.
    • Working is the sort of verb form that can be called a participle.

    The writer couldn't say concerning her working abroad because that could mean
    1. 'about the fact that she had previously worked abroad'
    2. 'about the fact that she was working abroad at the time'
    3. 'about the fact that she would be working abroad in the future'

    The writer wanted to express meaning [2], so used being to signal PAST PROGRESSIVE.

    Personally, I don't like the three -ing words together, but I see how the construction could be used.

    For meaning [1] concerning her having worked abroad
    For meaning [3] concerning her being about to work abroad

    Theoretically, one could write concerning her having been working abroad, but that sounds really dreadful.

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