the use of silently


 How it is correct: "I apologize for being so silent" or "I apologize for being so silently"?

1 answer


Silently is an adverb.

Silent is an adjective.


"for being silent" is a prepositional phrase.

"for" is the preposition.

"being silent" is the gerund phrase functioning as the object of the preposition.


Your confusion is understandable considering "silent" appears to be modifying the verb "being"; however, "to be" is actually a linking verb that is linking (in this case) a predicate adjective "silent" to the subject of your sentence "I".


Long story short:

Because you are using the linking verb "be" as your gerund, "silent" is modifying the subject (a noun) and not the verb, so you have to use "silent" instead of "silently"


Important side note

If you had used an action verb instead of a linking verb, you could have used an adverb.

"I apologize for walking silently."


I know this is an advanced lesson--let me know if you need further assistance.


link comment edited Nov 03 '13 at 22:00 Aaron Prejean Expert

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