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  1. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #1

    I think he was just being nice.

    I think he was just being nice.

    What is the function of 'being'?

    I guess 'just being nice' is adjective phrase, 'just' is adverb modifying 'being nice', 'being' is adverb modifying the adjective 'nice'.

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    #2

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    "I think [he was just being nice]".

    "Being" is a present participle verb; it heads the verb phrase "just being nice" which is complement of the progressive auxiliary verb "was". The sequence "was just being nice" is a verb phrase functioning as predicate of the embedded subordinate clause "he was just being nice".

    "Just" is a focusing adverb modifying the verb phrase "being nice". And "nice" is an adjective functioning as predicative complement of "being".

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    PaulMatthews's anaysis is spot on. I'd answer rock-onn's question more simply: 'Being' is part of the past progressive form 'was being'.

  3. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    In my opinion, English grammar is more complicated than the Trigonometry.

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    #5

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by rock-onn View Post
    In my opinion, English grammar is more complicated than the trigonometry.
    There's nothing we can do about that, I'm afraid.

  4. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    "I think [he was just being nice]".

    And "nice" is an adjective functioning as predicative complement of "being".
    It means 'being' is a verb here, right?
    And 'was just being nice' is a verb phrase that acts as a adjective. Right?

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    Being is the -ing form/present participle of the verb BE.
    Quote Originally Posted by rock-onn View Post
    And 'was just being nice' is a verb phrase that acts as a adjective. Right?
    No. Paul Matthews has told you what this is.

  6. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    "I think [he was just being nice]".

    "Being" is a present participle verb; it heads the verb phrase "just being nice"
    It heads the verb phrase. What does it mean? I am trying to understand his explanation.

    Thanks.

  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    I think it means 'being nice' is a verb phrase where 'being' is the main verb and 'nice' is the complement.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: I think he was just being nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by rock-onn View Post
    It heads the verb phrase. What does it mean? I am trying to understand his explanation.

    Thanks.
    The verb "being" is the head (main) word in the verb phrase "just being nice". The head (main) word of a verb phrase is always the verb. Other items, if any, in the VP are called dependents and comprise objects, modifiers and complements.

    I strongly suggest that you obtain an up-to-date grammar book; it will help you get a better grasp of basic grammar such as the structure of sentences and clauses.

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