In dictionary, I see phrases in the form of 'as + ing' quite many times, for example,

attribute : regard something as being caused by (something or someone)

Is 'as' here a preposition or conjunction? And how the past participle 'being caused' is used here? (As adjective or adverb?) If I rephrase the above sentence, is it just "regard something as it is caused by (something or someone)"?

I think actually the way I understand the above sentence is more like "regard something as a (or the) thing (being) caused by (something or someone)".

All I want is to rigorously understand the meaning of the above sentence in the dictionary, and the usage of 'as' and participles as in here. So far I cannot find a single reference that gives a proper explanation on the usage of 'as' as in here.


The as really belongs with regard: regard as is a phrasal verb. In this case as is a preposition, but it doesn't have a meaning of it's own, only the unit regard as has a meaning.

This is tricky because phrasal verbs in English can be split up like this with the object.

The being caused is the 'indirect object' or second argument. In this case it's a passive gerund participle. But it could easily be many other things. Here are some examples of the verb regard as:

John is regarded as a world expert.
I regard John as being a world expert.
I regard you as my friend.
John is regarded as the cause of the event.

  • any reference may you give me for the gerund thing? – jachilles Nov 24 '14 at 11:23
  • @julypraise What do you mean sorry? – curiousdannii Nov 24 '14 at 11:31
  • I'm looking for any textbook or anything where I can study passive gerund participle. Any suggestion? – jachilles Nov 24 '14 at 13:28
  • No sorry. I'm not sure it actually is one. It could be a past participle instead. being is a passive gerund though... – curiousdannii Nov 24 '14 at 22:48

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