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    #1

    be done Ving

    He was done eating.

    Is the above sentence acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: be done Ving

    Yes, with the usual disclaimer of context. It is natural and grammatical, at least in AmE.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: be done Ving

    I don't think many of us not-so-young speakers of BrE would use it, but we might, with a shudder, understand it.

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    #4

    Re: be done Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I don't think many of us not-so-young speakers of BrE would use it, but we might, with a shudder, understand it.
    How would not-so-young speakers of BrE rewrite the sentence? He was finished eating or He finished eating?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: be done Ving

    In Aust/NZ it would be understood, but probably regarded as American English. I don't think I've ever heard a native Aust/NZ speaker use this construction, but it wouldn't surprise me if I soon did.
    I would usually hear and say, "He had / He'd finished eating".

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: be done Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    How would not-so-young speakers of BrE rewrite the sentence? He was finished eating or He finished eating?
    That would depend on the context.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: be done Ving

    Is it grammatical to say 'He was done with eating it'?

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: be done Ving

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Is it grammatical to say 'He was done with eating it'?
    That is grammatical, if informal, in my variety of English, but it suggests to me that he is never going to eat again.

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    #9

    Re: be done Ving

    Actually, it suggests that he is never going to eat IT again. Even at that, I can't imagine hearing that sentence.

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    #10

    Re: be done Ving

    In BrE, we don't often use "to be done + v+ing" although we hear it more and more via AmE.

    Having said that, without the verb, it's quite common. A waiter/waitress might say to a diner who still has food in his/her plate "Are you done?"

    The phrase is also used quite frequently during arguments (in my experience). When one party has been yelling/screaming/shouting for a good few minutes, the other party might calmly, and quite annoyingly, say "Are you done?" Sometimes that catches the other person off guard and they quietly say "Yes" and then they kiss and make up. Sometimes, the reply is "Actually, no, I'm not done! Here's another thing that annoys me about you ...!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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