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I have the sentence below:

It is clear that four items are responsible for the majority of the global total spending with the most prominent share being that of food.

Please explain "being that of food". Being is shown in dictionary.com as a noun or a conjunction, but neither seems to fit here.

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  • It is clear that four items are responsible for the majority of total global spending and that the largest fraction/amount is that spent on food. // It is clear that the majority of total global spending is associated with just four items, the largest amount being that spent on food. Mar 22, 2017 at 11:17
  • A better dictionary would show being as a participle. Mar 31, 2018 at 12:40

3 Answers 3

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The unnecessary phrase is 'that of', which can be dropped.

Try re-writing the sentence as:

It is clear that four items are responsible for the majority of the global total spending, with food being the most prominent.

The comma allows the sentence to be extended.

The order of the words affects how the information is delivered. In your version we declare, like at the Oscars, 'the most prominent share is ...(food)'.

In my version the information is delivered as 'food comes in ...(first)'.

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Out of the four factors which account for majority of global spending, highest spending is for food.

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Being is also a verb. It is a present tense form of the verb be (you can see that entry further down the page). Here are some examples:

It is in a state of being.

Meaning 'it' (whatever 'it' represents) is currently in a state of existing, or experiencing.

She is being facetious.

'She' is, right now, acting in a facetious manner. Or I am currently experiencing 'her' facetious behavior. The sentence expresses both of those ideas. Similarly:

He is being the most annoying thing I can think of right now.

'He' is, right now, being annoying (very annoying; the most annoying thing I can equate him to at this moment in time). Or I am currently experiencing 'his' annoying behavior, and it's so annoying I can't think of anything else more annoying at the moment.

Your example is similar. The verb being affects the subject "prominent share" as in "the most prominent share of the four items responsible for the majority of the global total spending".

In simple terms, that "prominent share" is in a state (right now) that can be described as currently describing "food". It's a roundabout style that most people don't use because there are simpler, more direct ways of expressing the idea like:

It is clear that four items are responsible for the majority of the global total spending. The most prominent share of those four items, represent food.

You could also write it like:

There are four items responsible for the majority of global total spending. A large percentage of those four items are related to food.

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