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  1. nininaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb Being dumped

    Hello All,
    Why do we use 'being dumped' instead of 'were dumped' ?
    why used progressive instead of simple past?

    M:History can illuminate the value of tea. In the past, quality tea
    has been considered more valuable than gold. Tea has even
    been the impetus for war, like the American Revolution.

    W: I thought that war happened because Americans didn’t want
    to be ruled by the British. What did it have to do with tea?

    M: One of the incidents that touched off the Revolutionary War
    was a shipment of tea being dumped into the ocean by a group
    of Americans.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Being dumped

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    M: One of the incidents ... was a shipment of tea being dumped into the ocean by a group of Americans.
    The incident was the dumping of a shipment of tea.
    The incident was a shipment of tea being dumped.
    That's a gerund phrase not a participle.
    http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/gerundphrase.htm

  3. nininaz's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Being dumped

    Woow, such a confusing language :(
    You mean every time we want to turn a gerund into the passive mode , we have to use 'being + gerund '?
    Last edited by nininaz; 07-May-2014 at 09:37.

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    #4

    Re: Being dumped

    You cannot make that assumption. We answer specific questions here; we can't tell you what would be right 'every time'.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Being dumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The incident was the dumping of a shipment of tea.
    The incident was a shipment of tea being dumped.
    That's a gerund phrase not a participle.
    http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/gerundphrase.htm
    I agree that "dumping" in your first sentence is a gerund and that "dumping of a shipment of tea" is gerund phrase. It acts as a noun, a predicate nominative (noun complement).

    However, in the second sentence, I don't see "being dumped" as a gerund (noun). I see it as a participial phrase. It can be called a reduced relative clause: The incident was a shipment of tea (that was) being dumped.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Being dumped

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The incident was a shipment of tea (that was) being dumped.
    I considered that, but decided it was wrong. The incident was clearly the dumping of the tea.
    The anger was over "the tea being dumped", not over "the shipment of tea" that (incidentally) was being dumped.
    The second sentence might not be a gerund phrase. But the original sentence doesn't contain a reduced clause because "the tea that was being dumped" was not the problem. The problem was "the tea being dumped" - the dumping of the tea.

    Compare: "There was outrage over the prisoner being tortured". There's no reduced clause there either, and the outrage isn't over the prisoner.

    PS: It might be more clearly expressed as "the tea's being dumped; the prisoner's being tortured."
    Last edited by Raymott; 08-May-2014 at 04:32.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Being dumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I considered that, but decided it was wrong. The incident was clearly the dumping of the tea.
    The anger was over "the tea being dumped", not over "the shipment of tea" that (incidentally) was being dumped.
    The second sentence might not be a gerund phrase. But the original sentence doesn't contain a reduced clause because "the tea that was being dumped" was not the problem. The problem was "the tea being dumped" - the dumping of the tea.

    Compare: "There was outrage over the prisoner being tortured". There's no reduced clause there either, and the outrage isn't over the prisoner.

    PS: It might be more clearly expressed as "the tea's being dumped; the prisoner's being tortured."
    But "being tortured" is not a noun. The outrage was over the prisoner (who was) being tortured.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Being dumped

    My point is that "being tortured" is a noun. It's a gerund. "His being tortured was outrageous." What else can it be?
    And the outrage was not over the prisoner. Anyhow, that's my opinion.

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Being dumped

    Yes, if you change prisoner to prisoner's (as a possessive), then the -ing word becomes a gerund. But that construction was not in the original sentence. I commented on the original sentence.

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Being dumped

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes, if you change prisoner to prisoner's (as a possessive), then the -ing word becomes a gerund. But that construction was not in the original sentence. I commented on the original sentence.
    Yes, I know. I was simply trying to help you understand the original sentence by demonstrating the gradation of gerund to participle. Quirk (1985, 17.54[8]) provides an example:
    "I watched Brown painting his daughter." can be [a] "I watched Brown as he painted his daughter", or [b] "I watched the process of Brown('s) [sic] painting his daughter."
    Similarly, if you read the original sentence as "... a shipment of tea [in the process of] being dumped into the ocean by a group
    of Americans", you can see how the sentence doesn't contain a reduced clause.
    The sentences with the apostrophe aren't crucial to understanding the sentence. It's not even necessary to identify the part of speech of 'being' in the original sentence to realise that there is no "that was" necessary, or intended, in that example.
    Sorry for the confusion. Anyhow, it was an interesting discussion.

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