Being/As a teenager, I had no worries.

Elaine Koh

Senior Member
Singapore English
Being a teenager, I had no worries.
As a teenager, I had no worries.

Which is the correct sentence?

Thanks.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    They don't have the same meaning, though, Elaine. In what context were you thinking of using them?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Being a teenager, I had no worries.
    As a teenager, I had no worries.

    Which is the correct sentence?

    Thanks.
    They have different meanings:

    Being a teenager, I had no worries - Because I was a teenager I had no worries.
    As a teenager, I had no worries - From my position as a teenager I had no worries (but, of course, from other points of view..?)
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    They have different meanings:

    Being a teenager, I had no worries - Because I was a teenager I had no worries.
    As a teenager, I had no worries - From my position as a teenager I had no worries (but, of course, from other points of view..?)
    You are slicing the salami very thin, here. As I read you, you seem to be saying 1) a) that the first ("being") asserts a causal connection, while b) the second, simply correspondence or parallelism. Further, you seem to say 2) that the second allows, leaves open, other points of view.

    1a) seems plausible, but not quite necessary. The "being" construction here, I suggest, has some similarities to the absolute construction:

    to war with the westies - Jstor
    by RJH Griffiths - ‎2002 - ‎Cited by 1 - ‎Related articles
    had been continuously employed at bases and, the War being over, they wanted to go home.' By 10 December armed British troops had been brought in to ...
    ===
    Here there is some causal connection, but consider this:

    The Deadly Battle at Hicksville (1914) - IMDb


    ... out one fights for the North and the other for the South, After quite a few adventures, the war being over, they return to find Dolly has married another man.
    ==


    Here there is some kind of parallelism, and the absolute construction allows the writer to leave open the possibilities; I'd argue that's quite possible in the "being" construction of the OP.
    =======

    As to 1b), is the second simply parallelism? Possibly, but the causal link is quite possible. As in B1} "As an American, I'm embarrassed by Trump's tweets, as his plane lands, against the Mayor of London."
    ----------

    Point 2) is the most questionable of your arguments. Would it not be odd to continue with another point of view?

    B2}: "It was 1939. As a teenager, I had no worries, but as a British subject, I feared a German invasion." :confused:

    Or in my own example, altered, B*1}"As an American, I'm embarrassed by Trump's tweets, but as a man, I admire his boldness.":confused:

    The causal linkage seems to be entirely possible for the "As a" construction. "As a mammal, my dog could not survive long under water. I had to rescue him from the sinking ship." And surely the point of the "As a" construction is to highlight the primacy of that connection; it would be an oddity to give another equal countervailing consideration.

    B3} "As a teenager I had no worries, but as a new mother, I feared for my baby's life." :confused:

    In sum, your view of the differences, while defensible, may be questioned on several grounds. Non-causal linkage in the "being" construction, and little allowance for other points of view ("positions") in the "As a" construction.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Being a teenager, I had no worries - Because I was a teenager, I had no worries. Teenagers don't have worries in general.
    As a teenager, I had no worries - When I was a teenager, I had no worries. I was without worries during those years when I was a teenager, not necessarily because I was a teenager.
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    Being a teenager, I had no worries - Because I was a teenager, I had no worries. Teenagers don't have worries in general.
    As a teenager, I had no worries - When I was a teenager, I had no worries. I was without worries during those years when I was a teenager, not necessarily because I was a teenager.
    Yes, causal versus parallel. I recognize that in the first part of my post; the similarity to absolute constructions which have the same duality {The war being over...}.

    Our difference is that I argue that this duality is applies within the first example {Being a teenager....}, not merely between the two examples.

    Further there are many times when the "As a" introductory wording suggests causal linkage:

    {I arrive late to a meeting; I say, when asked what I think of the topic at hand:} "As a latecomer, I think I'll just listen for a while."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    We're still waiting for Elaine to come back and tell us something about her context;).
     

    Elaine Koh

    Senior Member
    Singapore English
    Hello, Loob.

    Below is more context.

    As a teenager, I had no worries about injuries, such as a bruise or a badly injured knee or my health, until last year - in 2018.

    Last year, after my school’s annual sports carnival, I went home to take a shower. While showering, I realised that there was a bruise on my breast. I pressed on it to ensure that the injury was not serious. To my surprise, I felt a lump. However, I did not give it much thought and assumed that it was just a regular cyst. After a few days, the lump did not go away; instead, it moved from one position to another from time to time, and it changed in size, too. As I started to get anxious about this, my mother and I made an appointment to see a doctor at the hospital to get this checked.
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    Hello, Loob.

    Below is more context.

    As a teenager, I had no worries about injuries, such as a bruise or a badly injured knee or my health, until last year - in 2018.

    Last year, after my school’s annual sports carnival, I went home to take a shower. While showering, I realised that there was a bruise on my breast. I pressed on it to ensure that the injury was not serious. To my surprise, I felt a lump. However, I did not give it much thought and assumed that it was just a regular cyst. After a few days, the lump did not go away; instead, it moved from one position to another from time to time, and it changed in size, too. As I started to get anxious about this, my mother and I made an appointment to see a doctor at the hospital to get this checked.
    I think the second, 2) is closer to what you want. As a teen-ager you were, in one repect, not worried about health. But as a person with a new, puzzling symptom, you were worried and concerned.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello, Loob.

    Below is more context.

    As a teenager, I had no worries about injuries, such as a bruise or a badly injured knee or my health, until last year - in 2018.

    Last year, after my school’s annual sports carnival, I went home to take a shower. While showering, I realised that there was a bruise on my breast. I pressed on it to ensure that the injury was not serious. To my surprise, I felt a lump. However, I did not give it much thought and assumed that it was just a regular cyst. After a few days, the lump did not go away; instead, it moved from one position to another from time to time, and it changed in size, too. As I started to get anxious about this, my mother and I made an appointment to see a doctor at the hospital to get this checked.
    Thanks for this, Elaine.

    I'd take it to mean 'Because I was a teenager I had no worries about injuries.'
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd be a bit puzzled by both options in that context.

    I would read "As a teenager" as "when I was a teenager", and then be confused by subsequent indications that the writer is still a teenager.

    With "Being a teenager" I would be distracted by the apparent cause-and-effect link, and start thinking "But lots of teenagers have health issues".

    I think that in your sentence I would just write "I'm a teenager, and I ...".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "As a teenager ... until last year - 2018." What does that mean? As a teenager ... until I was 16? As a teenager ... until I was 64?
     
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