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  1. Member
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    #1

    Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Hello! Would you please help me clarify grammatical and syntactic functions of being? Look at the following sentences:

    a) "It begs to be said that the trial of four police officers accused of murdering Amadou Diallo -- as sad, politicized and polarized as it is
    -- nonetheless betrays unmistakable signs of being better off here than there. Here being Albany, there being the Bronx."
    (https://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/03/n...ttling-in.html)

    b) “Baseball is made for the human eye,” he said. “Umpires make mistakes just like us players. You don’t want robots out there being the umpires. It might be like that one day."
    (https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/s...0phillies.html)


    My analysis and questions:

    1) 'Being' is the head of the gerund phrase 'being better off here than there' within the adjectival phrase 'unmistakable signs of being better off here than there syntactically functioning as the direct object of 'betrays'. Grammatically the gerund phrase functions as a noun ('sings of what?'). What is its syntactic role?

    2) 'Being' looks like a verb grammatically. But why not is?

    3) Is 'being' a part of the structure to be + subject complement ('the umpires')? If so, can I change it to 'to be': 'You don’t want robots out there to be the umpires'?
    Not a teacher or native speaker

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    #2

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    This being a question that's meant to elicit a long, complex discussion, I've moved it to a more suitable location. Let's try to reserve the Ask a Teacher forum for more narrowly-focused ones.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    This being a question that's meant to elicit a long, complex discussion,
    I suspect that jutfrank is going to be working hard for his VIP Member's pay again.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #4

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I suspect that jutfrank is going to be working hard for his VIP Member's pay again.
    I hope other members will also participate in the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    This being a question that's meant to elicit a long, complex discussion
    I would rather keep it as short and simple as possible, honestly. You can start with ''Yes and yes" to the third question.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 15-May-2020 at 17:09.
    Not a teacher or native speaker

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    #5

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post


    a) "It begs to be said that the trial of four police officers accused of murdering Amadou Diallo -- as sad, politicized and polarized as it is
    -- nonetheless betrays unmistakable signs of being better off here than there. Here being Albany, there being the Bronx."

    NOT A TEACHER

    In the opinion of this non-teacher, I think that we may be dealing with an abbreviated prepositional phrase.

    Please look at this sentence that I found online in the February 16, 2014, issue of the Albuquerque [New Mexico] Journal: "Please find [the] invitation … about the farewell ceremony here -- with the word 'here' being a hyperlink to …."

    Maybe the sentence we are dealing with means something like: "The trial betrays signs of being better off here than there -- with 'here' being Albany and 'there' being the Bronx."

  6. Member
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    #6

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I think that we may be dealing with an abbreviated prepositional phrase.
    It makes perfect sense to me. In that case, shouldn't it be separated by a comma: "...off here than there, with 'here' being Albany and 'there' being the Bronx"?
    Not a teacher or native speaker

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    #7

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    NOT A TEACHER

    I think (think!) that a dash (as in the sentence that I quoted from that newspaper) may be slightly more dramatic. The dash makes you wait a second longer for the information than would a simple comma. In fact, I think that you could even use parentheses: "... off here than there (with 'here' being Albany and 'there' being the Bronx)." I think, however, that parentheses would not give enough weight to the information. In fact, your original sentence used neither a comma nor a dash. It simply gave us an abbreviated sentence: "Here being Albany, there being the Bronx." That concise statement can be very effective in speech or writing. It would be very boring to read: "The word 'here' is being used to refer to Albany, and the word "there" is being used to refer to the Bronx."

    I made this up: "A child's best friends are he and she. 'He' being a child's father, 'she' being a child's mother."

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    #8

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I hope other members will also participate in the discussion. . . .
    Not on a bet.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Ah, the inscrutability of 'being'. My favourite subject.

    I think I'll kick back and enjoy watching this one unfold as an absent observer.

  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Here being Albany, there being the Bronx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I suspect that jutfrank is going to be working hard for his VIP Member's pay again.
    I'm going to wait until the government furlough scheme ends, and then I'll send Alexey an invoice for the whole year.

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