Progressive Forms

I read this in ESL lessons: Progressive Forms

She [color=blue]was being very romantic when she called him «And».”

I would say" She was very romantic when she called him …" , “being” here may emphasize a progressive course that “made” she become romantic? :roll: If it were , why not say" She became very romantic when she called him …" ? I ask this only because I wonder how to use "being +adj " in daily English. Exactly, I seldom use this kind of expression. :oops:


Hi FangFang

In contrast to what most grammar books tell you, native speakers do use the verb be in the continuous form from time to time.

In the sentence you’re referring to, “was being” basically means “was acting” or “was behaving”.

I’d say she had already become romantic before the phone call (and her romantic feeling may also have been what prompted the call. ;))

Does that answer your question?


Hi FangFang, in additition to Amy’s excellent explanation I’d like to point out such phrases like

Now you are being silly.
He was being rude.
She was being polite.

You will find a lot more commonly used expressions with ‘being’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Machu Picchu, Peru[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi FangFang,

I feel obliged to chip in here as the quote ‘was being’ comes from the piece I wrote showing as many progressive/continuous forms as I could manage. Amy has hit the nail on the head by explaining that she was being romantic really means that she was behaving in a romantic way and Torsten’s examples further illustrate this. The point is that the verb be is extremely versatile and crops up in hundreds of expressions with a variety of different meanings. In fact it’s difficult to pin the verb down to one exact meaning. Probably you are thinking of it in the sense of describing a state rather than a way of doing something. We can say for example: I know you are ill but I think you are being very bad tempered The simple form are describes the state and so can’t be used in the continuous/progressive form but the second use are being is in the progressive form because it suggests this is your way of behaving now and if this was also put in the simple form -you are bad tempered, we would have an entirely different meaning suggesting that you are bad tempered all the time or you are a bad tempered person.


Hi, Thanks ,Amy ,Torsten and Alan
Now I think I have known the very point from you all. That 's the difference between “be +adj” and “being +adj” .
Thanks Alan , your example makes me more clear.