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Expector's Tips on English Usage (12): anyone trying to...

Yes, I'm talking about 'participle clauses'. Don't confuse 'participle' with 'particle', though - participle is the form of a verb that ends with '-ed' or '-ing'. 

Adjectival participle clauses are like relative clauses, for example, "Anyone trying to move the stone will get injured." (= Anyone who tries/is trying to move the stone will get injured.)

What I really want to convey, however, is that 'adjectival participle clauses can only be used to talk about actions that happen the same time as the main verb'. That is, participles can't be used when there is a time difference - perfect participles (having left, having lost, etc) are never possible in adjectival clauses.

So, you can say "Do you know the members who have just left MyEC?", but not "...the members having left...".

'Being' is not used in adjectival clauses either, except in passive verb constructions. You say 'the members being banned won't be welcomed back' - you don't say 'the members being active should help add comments on the blogs'.

In adverbial clauses, on the other hand, perfect participles can be used, and 'being' can be used in an active sense, for instance, "Having learned English for such a long time, I can understand it very well.", "Being an active member here, I'm supposed to leave a comment on the blog."

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Tags: adjectival, being, clause, participle, perfect

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Comment by Expector1 on April 11, 2017 at 14:42


Thanks for commenting!


Yes, it's a complex area of English grammar. Adverbial participle clauses are just like reason, purpose, time or if clauses. In addition, words such as 'be', 'have', 'know', 'wish' are called stative verbs, which are rarely used in progressive or continuous tenses, but the '-ing' form can be used in participle clauses (to suggest 'reason' or 'cause'). 

Comment by Risty Aven on April 10, 2017 at 12:29

Being here for some time now, I observed a lot of occurrences that I prefer to ignore and just let it/them pass.

To be honest, I didn't get these clauses..I wanna cry now..huhuhuhu...:(((

Comment by bet on April 9, 2017 at 6:20

Having heard about it I would like to say thank you!

Comment by Expector Smith on April 9, 2017 at 3:34


Thanks for the comment!


Great! The sentence would sound natural if you made it like this 'Being the only girl in the family, I was spoiled rotten'.

You should have used the definite article 'the' rather than 'an'. Moreover, you say 'girl', not 'girl child' - since 'a girl' means 'a female child'. 

Comment by Adaline Bala on April 8, 2017 at 23:50

Dear Expector, Thank you the lovely tips.

'Being an only girl child in the family, I was spoiled by everyone!'. Is that right?

Comment by Marshaa on April 8, 2017 at 19:19
Useful posting. Thanks.

Comment by Expector Smith on April 8, 2017 at 15:35


Thanks for the comment - I'm really flattered by it. Yes, you've been active and have helped add comments on blogs by other members - I really appreciate it! Keep it up!


I'm so pleased you find it useful. Thanks!

Comment by Onee-chan on April 8, 2017 at 15:12

Dear Expector,

Thank you for posting the blog about using being and having. :)

Comment by rysperski on April 8, 2017 at 14:53

Oi there,

   Being an active member of EC I read all blogs posted there, but reading Expertor' blogs is very useful, commenting them is great fun.

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