become in progressive tense

< Previous | Next >

sungstar

Senior Member
Korean
When 'become' means 'suit', can it be used in the progressive tense like
"His behavior was not becoming a governor."? I thought it's not possible, but the sentence sounds okay. What do you think? Thanks for your help!
 
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    "His behavior was not becoming a governor."? This is not incorrect, but might be better His behavior was not becoming of a governor. This doesn't sound quite right to me, though. Wait for further comments.
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    I support CyberP. However, this is not the progressive (or continuous) tense. It is an adjective, which is why it requires the "of."
     

    sungstar

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Then, "His behavior did not become a governor." -Does this have the same meaning with "His behavior was becoming of a governor."? I mean if "become" is used as a verb, the continuous tense is not okay, right?
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    Correct, except that you got your negatives mixed up.

    I suppose because of the possible confusion (become has other meanings), "his behaviour did not become a govenor" is not a common way of putting it. "His behaviour was not becoming of a govenor" is not ambiguous and would be more likely to be heard.

    You do hear, "that hat becomes you," though, since any possible confusion is promptly eliminated by the realisation that a hat cannot change into "you."
     

    sungstar

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you for your explanation. I have one more question. I have looked up "become" in dictinary, and I couldn't find its usage as an adjective. Is it really used as an adjective?
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    It is not "become" that's an adjective, but "becoming." It is clearly derived from the verb "become" (in the sense of "suit"), but "is becoming" as a verb would mean "is changing into."
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I would expect the preposition to with becoming used as an adjective:

    He gave up writing in the ' Edinburgh Review ' as not becoming to a dignitary. (Dictionary of National Biography of 1909)​
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top