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Being or not being?

Hi there,

I just read something about Japan's recent economy in English, and I was confused about a thing. Here is the text: the fact that the market has moved so much without a single shot being fired by either the central bank or the government begs the question: how much of this is hype...
The writer uses being fired, but it would be just fired if I had written this article. Is there any difference between 'being fired' and 'fired'?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Being fired is probably a subjunctive use of the verb. It expresses a hypothetical action, not an accomplished fact, which fits with the meaning of the sentence. "Fired" should just refer to an accomplished fact, which really does not fit in with this sentence. I have heard people use "fired" in a sentence like this, but I have always taken it as "without a shot [being] fired".

    I found some information that may interest you:

    1. They debated for hours. No decision WAS TAKEN.

    a. They debated for hours without a decision BEING TAKEN.

    2. Maybe, then, we could analyze your sentence as:

    The market has moved so much. Not a single shot has been fired.

    a. The market has moved so much without a single shot being fired.

    Source: Longman English Grammar by L.G. Alexander.

    He says that participial [ -ing] constructions are common after "with" and "without."

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