the first being Margaret Thatcher

AidaGlass

Senior Member
Persian-Iran
Hello,
Context: Theresa Mary May is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016, the second woman to hold both positions, the first being Margaret Thatcher.
Does 'the first being Margaret Thatcher' mean 'the first one was Margaret Thatcher'? Would the sentence sound unidiomatic if the blue part was replaced with the red one?
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, that's what it means. It could be replaced with what you suggest but in that case I'd expect the punctuation to be changed.
     

    AidaGlass

    Senior Member
    Persian-Iran
    Yes, that's what it means. It could be replaced with what you suggest but in that case I'd expect the punctuation to be changed.
    Thank you. So, how should I punctuate it? Do I need to put a full stop at the end of the sentence [...to hold both positions.]?
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    You could put it in parentheses as it's only additional information, something to remember the readers about. It would sound less formal that way, though.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    I agree with grassy's observations in full. Using the ing form ("the first being ...") makes for better readability or flow. Using parentheses or making a separate sentence ("The first was ...") breaks the flow. So here it's a question of style.
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    You need a full stop after "2016".
    Theresa Mary May is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She is the second woman (Margaret Thatcher being the first) to hold both positions.
     

    AidaGlass

    Senior Member
    Persian-Iran
    I agree with grassy's observations in full. Using the ing form ("the first being ...") makes for better readability or flow. Using parentheses or making a separate sentence ("The first was ...") breaks the flow. So here it's a question of style.
    Thanks for the explanation.
    She is the second woman (Margaret Thatcher being the first) to hold both positions.
    Would the sentence be incorrect if you wrote 'was' instead of 'being in (Margaret Thatcher being the first)?
     
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