KudoZ home » English » Linguistics

being

English translation: as ... is

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
11:15 Dec 7, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Science - Linguistics / - grammar
English term or phrase: being
[I am asking on behalf of a colleague of mine.]

Could you please help me figure out the semantic function of the word "being" in the sentence below? Thank you so much.

"The Uniged Kingdom being one of six constitutional monarchies within the European Community, it has a monarch as the Head of the State."
Mikhail Kropotov
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:50
English translation:as ... is
Explanation:
This is not very good English, from a stylistic point of view. It is equivalent to:

"As the UK is one of six ...., it has...."

Either way, the construction is not brilliant. For one thing, it does not really sit very well with the logic of the situation. It suggests that the UK's being one of the six constitutional monarchies in the EU *explains* why it has a monarch as head of state. But if there were no other constitutional monarchies in the EU, or seventeen, would the Queen be any less the head of state of the UK?

Another, purely grammatical deficiency, is that when the subject is the same in obth clauses ("it"="UK"), you can and should avoid repeating it. There are several was to do this, e.g.:

"As one of the six constitutional monarchies within..., the UK has...."
"The UK, being one of the six..., has a monarch as head of state."
"The UK, one of the six..., has a monarch as head of state."


None of this is really edifying, as there is a redundancy inherent in describing a country as a monarchy and then adding that it has a monarch as head of state. What did we think a monarchy was anyway?

Finally, I would add that the construction in the question is just fine where the subordinate clause is actually an explanation and the subjects are different, e.g.

"Work being had to find, he took to crime."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2004-12-07 11:35:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

SirReal, do you know Latin? If so, you may have heard of the \"ablative absolute\". Well this is the English equivalent, sometimes called the \"nominative absolute\".

Another example: \"Christmas day falling on a Sunday that year, an additional holiday was proclaimed.\"

While I\'m here, omitting \"it\" as you suggest would result in a different construction with a different meaning. You would also need to add a comma after \"UK\", as in my example.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 43 mins (2004-12-07 11:58:22 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My terminology is from traditional grammar. I am not familiar with what the various modern schools of linguistics call this kind of construction. Just thought I\'d make that clear. It seems that other people have been exposed to it too, at least in Eastern Europe. (Grammar is little taught in most English-speaking countries.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 4 mins (2004-12-07 13:19:46 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OOPS. That should have been:

\"Work being *hard* to find, he took to crime.\"

I don\'t think I misled anyone, but if I did, sorry! Sorry for the sloppiness, anyway.
Selected response from:

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 03:50
Grading comment
Your knowledge being vast and comprehensible, you have earned the gratitude of many a colleague. Thanx.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +9as ... is
Richard Benham
5 +3since it is, because it is
egunn
4 -4the UK is one of 6 monarchies existing
swisstell


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
since it is, because it is


Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 mins (2004-12-07 11:18:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Because the UK is / Since it is

is the meaning here

egunn
Local time: 02:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  seaMount
16 mins

agree  Richard Benham: Yes, that's the meaning, but it's wrong (I mean the sentence structure is inappropriate, not that your answer is wrong).//You don't really need to know the terminology as a native speaker, except if you want to explain it to a non-native.
20 mins
  -> Thanks Richard. I'll have to stay out of the rest of the debate, as I'm not at all well up on the actual terminology of grammar, although I like to think I know what sounds correct. "I don't know much about grammar, but I know what I like", you could say.

agree  Ian M-H
36 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -4
the UK is one of 6 monarchies existing


Explanation:
is the interpretation of "being" in this context

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 03:50
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Richard Benham: Oh no it isn't.
11 mins

disagree  Ian M-H: No, "being" is being something different here.
40 mins

disagree  Tony M: No, that's not the function of 'being' here...
1 hr

disagree  writeaway: no-see the other answers for an explanation.
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +9
as ... is


Explanation:
This is not very good English, from a stylistic point of view. It is equivalent to:

"As the UK is one of six ...., it has...."

Either way, the construction is not brilliant. For one thing, it does not really sit very well with the logic of the situation. It suggests that the UK's being one of the six constitutional monarchies in the EU *explains* why it has a monarch as head of state. But if there were no other constitutional monarchies in the EU, or seventeen, would the Queen be any less the head of state of the UK?

Another, purely grammatical deficiency, is that when the subject is the same in obth clauses ("it"="UK"), you can and should avoid repeating it. There are several was to do this, e.g.:

"As one of the six constitutional monarchies within..., the UK has...."
"The UK, being one of the six..., has a monarch as head of state."
"The UK, one of the six..., has a monarch as head of state."


None of this is really edifying, as there is a redundancy inherent in describing a country as a monarchy and then adding that it has a monarch as head of state. What did we think a monarchy was anyway?

Finally, I would add that the construction in the question is just fine where the subordinate clause is actually an explanation and the subjects are different, e.g.

"Work being had to find, he took to crime."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2004-12-07 11:35:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

SirReal, do you know Latin? If so, you may have heard of the \"ablative absolute\". Well this is the English equivalent, sometimes called the \"nominative absolute\".

Another example: \"Christmas day falling on a Sunday that year, an additional holiday was proclaimed.\"

While I\'m here, omitting \"it\" as you suggest would result in a different construction with a different meaning. You would also need to add a comma after \"UK\", as in my example.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 43 mins (2004-12-07 11:58:22 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My terminology is from traditional grammar. I am not familiar with what the various modern schools of linguistics call this kind of construction. Just thought I\'d make that clear. It seems that other people have been exposed to it too, at least in Eastern Europe. (Grammar is little taught in most English-speaking countries.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 4 mins (2004-12-07 13:19:46 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OOPS. That should have been:

\"Work being *hard* to find, he took to crime.\"

I don\'t think I misled anyone, but if I did, sorry! Sorry for the sloppiness, anyway.

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 03:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 64
Grading comment
Your knowledge being vast and comprehensible, you have earned the gratitude of many a colleague. Thanx.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  egunn: good comments
8 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  Ian M-H
24 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  Anatoliy Babich: In my University they called it Nominative Absolute Participial Construction. So you're 100% right!
25 mins
  -> That's the term from traditional grammar. Thanks.

agree  Nesrin: http://academic.gallaudet.edu/handbooks/writers.nsf/0/d153c8... :" The absolute phrase is a noun subject and participle that modifies an entire sentence": "The Titanic sinking fast, the passengers prayed for rescue"
34 mins
  -> Thanks Nesrin for that reference.

agree  Ken Cox: Good comments. IMHO the whole construction is better avoided in English as it often leads to the semantic problems illustrated here. In particular, the example in the ref cited by Nesrin is perfect in French grammar but ludicrous in English.
44 mins
  -> Thanks. The Titanic example is a bit silly, but I have cited some better examples above. Stock phrases like "weather permitting" are OK, and the construction can sometimes get you out of trouble. But it can also seem rather fusty....

agree  Asghar Bhatti
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

agree  Tony M
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

agree  Tehani
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

agree  writeaway
1 hr
  -> Thanks.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search