no need to add that my being happy

amateurr

Senior Member
Russian
This comes from the book "Twilight"

"That's really nice, Dad. Thanks. I really appreciate it." No need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility."

Isn't it supposed to be "me" instead of "my"?


Thanks!
 
  • Silver_Biscuit

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    No. I got a little confused about this issue a few days ago, but I think it's correct to say that 'being happy' is a noun phrase using the gerundial form of to be. This noun phrase is owned by the character who is speaking, hence the genitive form (is it called that in English? Maybe 'possessive form'.) my. Her 'state of being happy' is impossible in Forks. Somebody else can probably explain this better, as I don't fully understand what's going on grammatically here. I do know that this is good grammar, though. Although the Twilight books are dross, I think they can be relied upon to use acceptable English.

    Warning: the same does not go for Dan Brown's 'novels'.
     

    Zsuzsu

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hi amateurr,

    No, it is all right the way it is written. Possessives are often used with -ing forms. Other examples: I don't mind your going without me. or Does my smoking annoy you? (examples taken from Swan's practical English Usage). "Me being happy" would be ungrammatical.
     

    xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    "Me being happy" would be ungrammatical.
    Prescriptively speaking you're probably right, but people (myself included) use this construction frequently. Not in formal contexts, certainly, but it may be becoming more acceptable.
     
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    Zsuzsu

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Prescriptively speaking you're probably right, but people (myself included) use this construction frequently. Not in formal contexts, certainly, but it may be becoming more acceptable.
    You are right, xqby, I think I've heard that structure, too - in informal contexts; still, I think it is ungrammatical. I am not sure, so I'll try to find out about it in one of my reference books.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Both 'me' and 'my' are perfectly grammatical for the subject of a gerund-participial clause like this, for many, many Standard English speakers. Such as me, for one. There is no great difference in feel between them, at least here.
     
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