Firstly, is the following sentence correct?

My brother is being unusually nervous lately.

If correct, how is being nervous behavior? We usually use the progressive of be to describe a behavior or an action, not states of the mind.

Secondly, I have read in both Longman and the Oxford dictionary that you use only present perfect with lately.

  • Please define “correct”. Certainly it is a perfectly unremarkable utterance by native speakers.
    – tchrist
    Jan 24 '19 at 15:49

The sentence is incorrect. The correct verb tense is present perfect - ‘has been...lately’.

My brother has been unusually nervous lately.

The present form of this sentence would be:

My brother is unusually nervous today.

‘Nervous’ is an adjective that describes a state of mind, not a behaviour. Although people do try to use ‘being nervous’ to describe someone’s behaviour, it always implies the state of mind.

  • I agree with you!
    – user249253
    Jan 24 '19 at 19:01

I agree with Possibility. It seems to me that the adjectives that describe some character can denote behavior in this structure (being + adjective), not those which describe states. enter image description here

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