I saw a sentence in the new york times

"... and create child care problems for parents who count on their children being at school for at least part of the week."

why did we use " being " here? and I guess it's a non-finite clause but I don't know how to convert this sentence into finite clause. or I already wrong that it's a reduction, if so, what subject should I study to learn it ?

  • 1
    "...parents who count on the fact that their children will be at school..." Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


'Being' in your example is the present active participle of the verb 'to be'. Participles are verbal adjectives - they can be used to modify a noun (in this case, the children), but can also take objects of their own because of their verbal quality. In this example, the object of the participle is the prepositional phrase 'at school'.

Using participles is a great way to pack the action in your sentences and to reduce your dependence on writing verbs out in separate clauses.

You can learn more by increasing your knowledge of English grammar, or by studying linguistics (but that could be beyond your needs if you're only seeking to learn prescriptive style rules rather than the ever-growing list of rules you encounter when approaching grammar from a descriptive standpoint).

  • yeah I actually knew all along what participle is but I got confused ! I guess it's better to use possessive "s" such as "their children's being.. " instead of "their children", If so, I completely OK. Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 13:15

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