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# When you should eliminate BEING? The answer is here.

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22 Oct 2012, 04:38
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The answer to the question is, ROUGHLY, that you should avoid "being" when expressing the IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS of some individual or thing. This is because "being" is usually unnecessary in such cases; there are simpler modifiers(such as appositives) that, while absolutely impossible to use in spoken language, are better in written language.
Example:
Being a cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine cutters.--->BAD
A cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine cutters.----->GOOD. NOTICE THAT WE CAN SIMPLY OMIT BEING HERE.

So to sum up:
If "being" expresses IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS, then kill it. Otherwise, evaluate it on the same merits as you would have any other verb.
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06 Dec 2012, 03:28
Dear Marcab,

thanks for sharing this insight!

While I undestand what we should understand under CHARACTERISTICS of an individual/thing, what do you exactly mean by IDENTITY? Can you give an example for this as well?

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Last edited by bgpower on 07 Dec 2012, 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

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06 Dec 2012, 06:40
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Hii BG.
"Being" is the present tense form of the verb "to be". Use it when something is currently happening.
Examples:
Because of the Euro crisis, the world is being brought into the recession.
My daughter is being a brat.
These two are correct.
Now consider this.
Being female, my daughter is bla bla bla. This one is incorrect.

Hope that will be crystal clear.
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06 Dec 2012, 06:47
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Marcab wrote:
Hii BG.
"Being" is the present tense form of the verb "to be". Use it when something is currently happening.
Examples:
Because of the Euro crisis, the world is being brought into the recession.
My daughter is being a brat.
These two are correct.
Now consider this.
Being female, my daughter is bla bla bla. This one is incorrect.

Hope that will be crystal clear.

Marcab, this is pretty fantastic.
My thumb rule:
see "being" in a sentence
If used as a modifier: ELIMINATE
If not: keep it there and check for other errors. If there are none its a nice feeling because you just answered a trap question correctly.
Hit NEXT and CONFIRM.
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12 Feb 2013, 17:02
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Great job Marcab putting this together. Pretty interesting thoughts on when "being" is incorrect. Thought I'd add my two cents here and provide a framework for when "being" is indeed correct. I am planning to write a much detailed article on it as well, but for now here is a treatment of this subject from my side.

Typically usage of "being" makes the answer choice wordy and awkward. But there are two perfectly correct usages of this word. Being cognizant of these usages is important. And make sure you do not blindly eliminate an answer choice just because you see the word "being" in it.

Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Correct Usage 2 - When passive continuous verb tense is required to communicate the meaning. For example:
The residents of this 100-year old apartment complex are being evacuated because of structural instability of the building.
Notice the verb tense here - are being evacuated - present continuous written in passive voice.

So in the cases above, "being" is correct. Now there are only a handful of official questions in which "being" is correct. And in these sentences "being" is used in one of the two correct usages as detailed above. Here they are:

OG13 Q100
Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

GMAT Prep
Simply being genetically engineered does not make a plant any more likely to become an invasive according to a decade-long study published in the journal Nature.

GMAT Prep
The survival of coral colonies, which are composed of innumerable tiny polyps living in a symbiotic relationship with brilliantly colored algae, is being threatened, experts say, not only by pollutants such as agricultural runoff, oil sticks, and trash, but also by dropped anchors, probing drivers, and global warming.

GMAT Prep
Performing a risky maneuver that required precision flying, space shuttle astronauts retrieved an orbiting satellite and simultaneously avoided being rear-ended by a passing ultraviolet telescope.

GMAT Prep
According to one expert, the cause of genetic irregularities in many breeds of dog is not so much that dogs are being bred for looks or to meet other narrow criteria as that the breeds have relatively few founding members.

A small exercise for you. In the 5 sentences above, indicate the role in which "being" has been used.

Now there are quite a few questions in which being is used incorrectly. Here are some official references from OG13: Q3, 4, 31, 49, 52, 63, 67, etc. Feel free to give your analysis of these incorrect usages as well.

Hope this helps. I look forward to your classification of role of being.

Regards,

Payal
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13 Feb 2013, 21:38
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egmat wrote:
Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Hi Payal, great explanation by both of you, but I'm quite confused between both yours and Marcab's explanations

In the below sentence

Being a cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine

Being a cigar aficionado is a noun right??? Then why is is considered incorrect.

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14 Feb 2013, 00:39
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egmat wrote:
Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Hi Payal, great explanation by both of you, but I'm quite confused between both yours and Marcab's explanations

In the below sentence

Being a cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine

Being a cigar aficionado is a noun right??? Then why is is considered incorrect.

If something is acting as a noun then you can replace another noun at its place and check whether it makes sense.

Swimming is good for health. --> we want to check whether swimming is a noun

Apple is good for health --> makes sense so swimming is acting as a noun.

Consider this example:

Being a top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> usage of being is unnecessary here

In this sentence "Being a top footballer" is not acting as a noun. Can we replace "Being a top footballer" with a noun, no we can't. No noun would make sense here. Therefore "Being a top footballer" is not acting as anoun

A top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> more appropriate after removing "being"

The phrase "a top footballer" is an appositive which renames another noun

Being a cigar aficionado is not something to be proud off. --> more appropriate

In the sentence above the subject "Being a cigar aficionado" if replaced by a noun would make sense -- Cheating is not something to be proud of. Cheating is functioning as a noun here

Now lets consider one more example

Being a top footballer is something that Messi considers to be is proud of. --> correct

lets replace "Being a top footballer" by a noun "honesty".

Honesty is something that Messi considers to be proud of. --> makes sense, therefore "Being a top footballer" is acting as a noun.

Also visit Ron's post from which the "cigar aficionado" example has been referred.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/hea ... t3173.html

Hope that helps,

Vercules
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17 Feb 2013, 01:40
Vercules wrote:
egmat wrote:
Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Hi Payal, great explanation by both of you, but I'm quite confused between both yours and Marcab's explanations

In the below sentence

Being a cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine

Being a cigar aficionado is a noun right??? Then why is is considered incorrect.

If something is acting as a noun then you can replace another noun at its place and check whether it makes sense.

Swimming is good for health. --> we want to check whether swimming is a noun

Apple is good for health --> makes sense so swimming is acting as a noun.

Consider this example:

Being a top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> usage of being is unnecessary here

In this sentence "Being a top footballer" is not acting as a noun. Can we replace "Being a top footballer" with a noun, no we can't. No noun would make sense here. Therefore "Being a top footballer" is not acting as anoun

A top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> more appropriate after removing "being"

The phrase "a top footballer" is an appositive which renames another noun

Being a cigar aficionado is not something to be proud off. --> more appropriate

In the sentence above the subject "Being a cigar aficionado" if replaced by a noun would make sense -- Cheating is not something to be proud of. Cheating is functioning as a noun here

Now lets consider one more example

Being a top footballer is something that Messi considers to be is proud of. --> correct

lets replace "Being a top footballer" by a noun "honesty".

Honesty is something that Messi considers to be proud of. --> makes sense, therefore "Being a top footballer" is acting as a noun.

Also visit Ron's post from which the "cigar aficionado" example has been referred.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/hea ... t3173.html

Hope that helps,

Vercules

G8 post. Thanks... Really Helped

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28 Mar 2013, 10:46
Vercules wrote:
egmat wrote:
Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Hi Payal, great explanation by both of you, but I'm quite confused between both yours and Marcab's explanations

In the below sentence

Being a cigar aficionado, John has strong opinions on when to use single guillotine cigar cutters rather than double guillotine

Being a cigar aficionado is a noun right??? Then why is is considered incorrect.

If something is acting as a noun then you can replace another noun at its place and check whether it makes sense.

Swimming is good for health. --> we want to check whether swimming is a noun

Apple is good for health --> makes sense so swimming is acting as a noun.

Consider this example:

Being a top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> usage of being is unnecessary here

In this sentence "Being a top footballer" is not acting as a noun. Can we replace "Being a top footballer" with a noun, no we can't. No noun would make sense here. Therefore "Being a top footballer" is not acting as anoun

A top footballer, Messi knows his way around the ball --> more appropriate after removing "being"

The phrase "a top footballer" is an appositive which renames another noun

Being a cigar aficionado is not something to be proud off. --> more appropriate

In the sentence above the subject "Being a cigar aficionado" if replaced by a noun would make sense -- Cheating is not something to be proud of. Cheating is functioning as a noun here

Now lets consider one more example

Being a top footballer is something that Messi considers to be is proud of. --> correct

lets replace "Being a top footballer" by a noun "honesty".

Honesty is something that Messi considers to be proud of. --> makes sense, therefore "Being a top footballer" is acting as a noun.

Also visit Ron's post from which the "cigar aficionado" example has been referred.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/hea ... t3173.html

Hope that helps,

Vercules

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13 Apr 2013, 08:40
" Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinction of being dwellings that must also operate as businesses."
"Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinctionthat, as dwellings, they must also operate like businesses"
guys colud help understand why former is better than latter

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13 Apr 2013, 15:30
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vedavyas9 wrote:
" Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinction of being dwellings that must also operate as businesses."
"Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinctionthat, as dwellings, they must also operate like businesses"
guys colud help understand why former is better than latter

Hi vedavyas,

Consider this short example - He has a distinctive quality of being rude at trivial conversations. -> Correct. The sentence means that "he" is not usually rude, but is rude at this instant i.e. "being rude".

Now consider this - The apartment houses have a distinctive quality of being tall red structures. -> Now this sentence is inappropriate. The "apartment houses" are not "being" tall red structures, but they are "tall red structures"

The apartment houses have a distinctive quality as tall red structures -> This sentence is better than the above sentence as it is just stating the quality of the houses.

The same is the reason why former construction is better than the later in your example. "distinction, as dwellings" is better than "distinction of being dwellings"

Moreover the later sentence seems to express that "the dwellings" operate as business, but the intended meaning is that the "houses" operate like businesses. Furthermore the usage "like businesses" is better than "as businesses"; "like" should be used with the noun businesses.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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24 Apr 2013, 12:47
Vercules wrote:
vedavyas9 wrote:
" Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinction of being dwellings that must also operate as businesses."
"Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinctionthat, as dwellings, they must also operate like businesses"
guys colud help understand why former is better than latter

Hi vedavyas,

Consider this short example - He has a distinctive quality of being rude at trivial conversations. -> Correct. The sentence means that "he" is not usually rude, but is rude at this instant i.e. "being rude".

Now consider this - The apartment houses have a distinctive quality of being tall red structures. -> Now this sentence is inappropriate. The "apartment houses" are not "being" tall red structures, but they are "tall red structures"

The apartment houses have a distinctive quality as tall red structures -> This sentence is better than the above sentence as it is just stating the quality of the houses.

The same is the reason why former construction is better than the later in your example. "distinction, as dwellings" is better than "distinction of being dwellings"

Moreover the later sentence seems to express that "the dwellings" operate as business, but the intended meaning is that the "houses" operate like businesses. Furthermore the usage "like businesses" is better than "as businesses"; "like" should be used with the noun businesses.

Hope this helps,

Vercules

Hi Vercules, I am clear on the error of the latter sentence. However, I am not clear why the former is correct using "distinction of being dwellings" why cant we use simple present, why we need "being" a continuous form of verb to be
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18 Sep 2014, 19:42
egmat wrote:
Great job Marcab putting this together. Pretty interesting thoughts on when "being" is incorrect. Thought I'd add my two cents here and provide a framework for when "being" is indeed correct. I am planning to write a much detailed article on it as well, but for now here is a treatment of this subject from my side.

Typically usage of "being" makes the answer choice wordy and awkward. But there are two perfectly correct usages of this word. Being cognizant of these usages is important. And make sure you do not blindly eliminate an answer choice just because you see the word "being" in it.

Correct Usage 1 - When Being is used as a noun. For example:
Being disrespectful to her elders is not an acceptable behavior.
Notice the subject here - being disrespectful to her elders

Correct Usage 2 - When passive continuous verb tense is required to communicate the meaning. For example:
The residents of this 100-year old apartment complex are being evacuated because of structural instability of the building.
Notice the verb tense here - are being evacuated - present continuous written in passive voice.

So in the cases above, "being" is correct. Now there are only a handful of official questions in which "being" is correct. And in these sentences "being" is used in one of the two correct usages as detailed above. Here they are:

OG13 Q100
Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

GMAT Prep
Simply being genetically engineered does not make a plant any more likely to become an invasive according to a decade-long study published in the journal Nature.

GMAT Prep
The survival of coral colonies, which are composed of innumerable tiny polyps living in a symbiotic relationship with brilliantly colored algae, is being threatened, experts say, not only by pollutants such as agricultural runoff, oil sticks, and trash, but also by dropped anchors, probing drivers, and global warming.

GMAT Prep
Performing a risky maneuver that required precision flying, space shuttle astronauts retrieved an orbiting satellite and simultaneously avoided being rear-ended by a passing ultraviolet telescope.

GMAT Prep
According to one expert, the cause of genetic irregularities in many breeds of dog is not so much that dogs are being bred for looks or to meet other narrow criteria as that the breeds have relatively few founding members.

A small exercise for you. In the 5 sentences above, indicate the role in which "being" has been used.

Now there are quite a few questions in which being is used incorrectly. Here are some official references from OG13: Q3, 4, 31, 49, 52, 63, 67, etc. Feel free to give your analysis of these incorrect usages as well.

Hope this helps. I look forward to your classification of role of being.

Regards,

Payal

1- Being...action -> Noun = subject of the clause
2- Simply ... engineered -> Noun = subject of the clause {according to - used as preposition}
3- being -> passive of present continuous
4- being ... telescope -> noun phrase = verb object
5- being bred -> passive form of present continuous
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18 Sep 2014, 21:04
Vercules wrote:
vedavyas9 wrote:
" Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinction of being dwellings that must also operate as businesses."
"Cooperative apartment houses have the peculiar distinctionthat, as dwellings, they must also operate like businesses"
guys colud help understand why former is better than latter

Hi vedavyas,

Consider this short example - He has a distinctive quality of being rude at trivial conversations. -> Correct. The sentence means that "he" is not usually rude, but is rude at this instant i.e. "being rude".

Now consider this - The apartment houses have a distinctive quality of being tall red structures. -> Now this sentence is inappropriate. The "apartment houses" are not "being" tall red structures, but they are "tall red structures"

The apartment houses have a distinctive quality as tall red structures -> This sentence is better than the above sentence as it is just stating the quality of the houses.

The same is the reason why former construction is better than the later in your example. "distinction, as dwellings" is better than "distinction of being dwellings"

Moreover the later sentence seems to express that "the dwellings" operate as business, but the intended meaning is that the "houses" operate like businesses. Furthermore the usage "like businesses" is better than "as businesses"; "like" should be used with the noun businesses.

Hope this helps,

Vercules

I am still not clear ... 1- How the comparison is justified and
2- What should 'being' refer to?
3- What is the role of 'as dwelling' in the later sentence?

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08 Dec 2014, 22:28
Police cars are being auctioned off today.

Is the use of Being correct over here?

I think it's no because they are actually auctioned (as I understood the explanation of Vercules).

It's yes because it's passive continuous verb.

(Source: GMAT Club Grammar Book Page 60.)
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08 Jan 2016, 11:10
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.

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Re: When you should eliminate BEING? The answer is here.   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2016, 11:10
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