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Learning English Grammar | verbs being and having



English grammar common mistakes | being and having

Of course, there are some students being more willing to study than others. [incorrect]
Of course, there are some students who are more willing to study than others. [correct]

In the West, we are used to having clean water which comes out of the tap. [correct]
In the West, we are used to have clean water which comes out of the tap. [incorrect]

The verbs be and have are not usually used in continuous forms [ being and having] when they are a main verb with their basic meaning - be = to exist, have = to possess:
These people are among the the most disadvantaged in society. [not are being]
They have a loving family to look after them. [not are having]

They are sometimes used as main verb with a different meaning in a continuous form to emphasise a temporary state or action:
She's having a shower at the moment. [= showering]
We're having a great time here in New York. [= enjoying our visit]
My boss is being awkward about giving me time off. [= behaving in an awkward manner]

* being + adjective is only used with adjectives which describe an attitude or behaviour [honest, patient, etc.], not those describing feelings [happy, sad, etc.].

Continuous forms can also be used after certain words and phrases, including:
be used to, enjoy, like, look forward to, be advantages to, be worth, a reason for, rather than, without
I'm not used to being away from my family. [= not accustomed to it]
There are advantages to having a flat in the city centre.
She's looking forward to visiting her friend in Miami next month.
It's not worth worrying about if you can't do anything about it.
Uncertainty in the economy is a reason for saving your money rather than spending it.
She left without saying goodbye.

See more common grammar mistakes

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