The verb "BE" isn't used in the progressive tenses, right?

But how do you explain this?



1 2
Sure, 'be' is used in the '-ing' form, as in this case of how people are acting:

He is being difficult.
They weren't being careful.
Forgive me for being ill.
My house is being painted this week.
I will be being manicured when you arrive.
And what's the difference between THEY WEREN'T BEING CAREFUL and THEY WEREN'T CAREFUL?
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The second one is correct. They weren't careful.
Both sentences are fine, and are common utterances. The former expresses more concern by the speaker with the careless activity they were pursuing; the latter shows that the speaker was more concerned with the result of their carelessness. The sentences are quite similar in meaning and purport; they just reflect a slightly different angle of consideration on the part of the speaker.
These are easier, and they illustrate the same point:

"They were being careful" zooms in on the action.
"They were careful" zooms out from the action.

Consider the activity of packing household objects for a move.

Zoom in:
"They wrapped every little cup and saucer in a separate piece of paper. They packed them slowly into a padded box. The carried the box to the truck very carefully."

"They were being careful."

Zoom out:
"They did it all the right way. I'm satisfied that they did a good job."

"They were careful."
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Hi, may I chime in? I asked a native speaker this question before, and he said 'Sara was being angry' is not proper. This is what he said.

Zoom in:
Sara threw out all of her husband's stuff, including tooth brush, sneakers, clothes, underpants and so on. And then, she also changed the door knob to lock her husband out.
(Sara was currently being angry at something.)

"Sara was being angry!"

Zoom out:
Sara threw her husband out of the house.
(Sara was in a general state of anger.)

"Sara was angry."

He is being happy. Emotion: sad
This one sounds weird to my ear because it seems to me that he is predending to be happy. I would say 'happy' is an emotional feeling that describes a general idea of something or someone. Either "He is happy" or "He pretends to be happy" will work right. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.

"We use the structure for behaviors we can control" is correct.

The "zooming" idea is to show the difference between past continuous and past simple. It has nothing to do with the correct choice of adjective. Emotion: smile

So "She was being angry" is still unacceptable (because of the adjective, not because of the tense).

Thanks again! I got it!
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