Mr X, being the careful man he is, decided to wait.

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Garbuz

Senior Member
Russian
I ran across this construction (being the careful man he is) in one of my students' essays. It looks ungrammatical to me but maybe I misunderstand something. There are tag statements that have a similar structure: John is careful, he is. But the sentence in question sounds odd to me. What do you think?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It certainly does seem odd now that you point it out, but it never did before. It's quite normal in use, and it's grammatical - that's not even the problem with it. (There's a bare relative clause after the noun, it's not a repeated clause as in the tag.) But the problem is why such an oddly tautologous structure is used, and I have no answer for that. 'Being a careful man' wouldn't have the same impact; and we also say 'being the man he is' (i.e. having such-and-such a character), and of course there's no shorter form of that.
     
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