I know walking down the street, I met my old friend is much better.

I just wonder if the sentence is grammatically incorrect, or it's acceptable like in the case of passive participles as below.

e.g. Being surprised at the news, I couldn't say a word.


Surprised at the news, I couldn't say a word.

  • "Being surprised at the news" could be acceptable; "Walking down the street" is such a widely used idiom that "Being walking down the street" sounds wrong.
    – Kevin
    May 5, 2015 at 2:12
  • Surprised can be used transitively, walked cannot, except when there's a police officer involved. Or, I suppose, anyone with a handgun.
    – Dan Bron
    May 5, 2015 at 3:06

2 Answers 2


The doubled-up progressive "being walking" is not used. I believe what you meant was:

  • While walking down the street, I met my old friend.

However, "Being surprised by. . ." (be + predicate modifier) is fine. And so is "Surprised by. . . ". Choose whichever you think sounds better.


"Having walked down the street, I met my old friend" I think, would be better and more correct if you wanted it to be passive participle.

  • 2
    Hello, potatoesandnoodles, and welcome to English Language & Usage. If possible, please cite a reference authority for your conclusion above. In general, we try to encourage answers backed by a reasoned explanation and cited reference works, rather than answers that amount to uncorroborated opinions. Thanks!
    – Sven Yargs
    May 5, 2015 at 6:24

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