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  1. #1
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    Default continuous form of to be (being)

    Hello, I am having problems finding an explanation for the use of being, why you can use it sometimes and not other times. I know a lot of "foreigners" make the mistake of saying 'Iam being very happy' and this is incorrect and yet you can say 'I am being very silly' what is the difference, why is one correct and the other incorrect. I really need an explanation for this.
    Thanks and a happy new year to the team.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: continuous form of to be (being)

    I would use the continuous form where it is important to stress the temporary nature- there's usually no need to stress the transitory nature of happiness, but when criticising someone as silly, it is important to show this.

    PS HNY

  3. #3
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    Default Re: continuous form of to be (being)

    Thanks but it doesn't really give me a reason as to why being doesn't work with so many words. for instance you can't say I am being cold, when you are in the process of feeling cold!! You can't say I am being angry with you. I really can't see an explanation for this. For this you can only use the present simple. I need an explanation for a group of Belgian adults who come to me for some basic English conversation, but they always want explanations of things I can only tell them "it just feels right" but it is no help to them at all, and a lot of foreign students have trouble with the continuous (or progressive) form of to be. It is often incorrectly used and maybe that is why. They had trouble with the past perfect too, the use of have been, but I have been able to make this easily understandable for them, but not being.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: continuous form of to be (being)

    We tend to use 'being' when the temporary state impinges on the other person (I know I am being presumptuous) or when we want to be polite to the other person by suggesting that their current state is a temporary one. Also, cold can beeither temporary or long-term, while stupidity is normally something you die with. With things like cold, there's no need, or we use 'I'm feeling cold/angry/sick'. I think it's basically a form used for more unusual conditions, so using it in other situations would water it down a bit.

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