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Thread: i was being?

  1. #1
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    Post i was being?

    Hello...i have a doubt with this tense: past continuos..Can any verb be put at this tense? For example is it correct to say : ''i was being'' I don't know why it doesn't sounds to me very well...

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: i was being?

    Hello Carmenn,

    Some verbs are less likely to be used in the past progressive, for instance "want"; though they do occur, e.g.

    1. I was wanting to speak to Mr Q.

    where the past progressive indicates a more "deferential" utterance than the more direct simple past ("I wanted to speak to Mr Q).

    "I was being" is relatively common, to express "a past state in progress", e.g.

    2. "Do you really think I look beautiful tonight?" "Actually, no; I was being sarcastic."

    It can also form part of the past progressive passive:

    3. I dreamt I was being chased by an enormous Adverb with a ferocious suffix.

    All the best,

    MrP

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: i was being?

    Just an addition about 'I was being'.

    As MrP says, it refers to a past state in progress. So it can't be used with the sort of be that refers to existence. When an actor says 'I was being a gang boss' he doesn't mean that he ever was one; he's referring to a performance.

    People often use 'I was being' to refer to a state or emotion that is now past:

    'Don't take it seriously - I was being silly'.

    'I'm sorry if I upset you. I was being flippant.'


    b

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    Smile Re: i was being?

    I understand now, thank you both.

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