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The following sentence is somewhat confusing.

It being a rainy day, we had to abandon (or simply say cancel) the match.

or

Being a rainy day, we had to abandon the match.

I think one of the following sentences is sufficient to get rid of the confusion.

  • Since it was a rainy day, we had to abandon the match.
  • It was a rainy day, so we had to abandon the match.
  • It was a rainy day, therefore we had to abandon the match.
  • We had to abandon the match because it was a rainy day.
  • We had to abandon the match because of a rainy day.
  • We had to abandon the match as it was a rainy day. (might not be used in this context)
  • The match abandonment (or simply say cancellation) was due to heavy rain.

Does the first sentence have some special meaning or usage? In which particular situation should it be used?

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The first sentence is OK, but the second one is what my grammar teacher denigrated as a "dangling participle", since it seems to say that we are a rainy day. –  GEdgar Oct 23 '12 at 17:25
    
possible duplicate of What does "it" refer to in "it's raining"? –  FumbleFingers Oct 23 '12 at 18:37
    
When you say "It being a rainy day", you're using the existential it in a "parenthetical/explanatory" clause. You could have stuck that clause on the other end, as "We had to abandon the match because it was a rainy day" –  FumbleFingers Oct 23 '12 at 18:43
    
All of the sentences seem fine to me, including the first one. The question could be improved if you explained why you think there's "confusion" in the first sentence. –  J.R. Oct 23 '12 at 20:20
    
You can certainly use the sentence "It was a rainy day", but you need to link it to the second half through something like "therefore", "so", "thus". If on the contrary you keep it as it is, you have a main clause (we had to abandon the match) and a subordinate one (it being a rainy day) which explains the reason for our abandoning the match. Is it any clearer now? By the way, I've just realized that you had already listed examples using two out of three connectors which I indicated. –  Paola Oct 23 '12 at 20:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Being a rainy day is less definitive than it was raining. The cause of play abandonment was a rainy day, it wasn't a particular downpour that day.

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It seems to me that "it being a rainy day" = "because it was raining". The only difference is the level of pretension in the former structure, which is similar to the awkward noun phrase "The cause of play abandonment", which would normally be expressed as "The {game / match / tournament / competition} was {cancelled / called [US baseball lingo]} because of rain". A rainy day doesn't imply a downpour, just enough rain to make a sports contest too messy to continue. –  user21497 Oct 24 '12 at 1:07
    
And it seems to me that "it being a rainy day" = "because of being a rainy day...". –  Tiny Oct 24 '12 at 2:39
    
Exactly @BillFranke. Using being a rainy day could even indicate a forecast for rain, which may or may not realize. –  Chris Oct 24 '12 at 6:21
    
The sentence is past tense. The match wouldn't've been cancelled had it not been raining, unless the contestants were toddlers. Pros don't cancel till the rain's intrusive. Because of being a rainy day isn't idiomatic English. All languages must consider syntax & semantics simultaneously. Sometimes the syntax determines the semantics & sometimes the semantics demands a specific syntax. Idioms follow their own rules: They're set expressions. A forecast for rain requires the future: It's going to rain, so let's cancel the game or It was going to rain, so we cancelled the game. –  user21497 Oct 24 '12 at 6:32
    
@Bill Franke - Can I say? - (1) It was a rainy day, thus, the match was cancelled. (2) It was a rainy day, hence, the match was cancelled. Sometimes, sentences like this one are seen - the final cricket match between England and Australia was disrupted due to bad weather. With respect to this sentence, can I say the match was cancelled due to heavy rain instead of saying the match cancellation was due to heavy rain? –  Tiny Oct 25 '12 at 22:47

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