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Which one is the best answer and why?

Thank you in advance.

Pumas never attack a human being except ___ cornered.
a) they are b) being c) that they are d) when they are
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Hi,

Pumas never attack a human being except __ cornered.

a) they are b) being c) that they are d) when they are

D.

Except 'at the time they are cornered.

It's like 'I never get wet except when it rains'.

Clive
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Thank you, but is answer b) also a possibility if except is treated as a preposition and being/their being cornered is treated as passive gerund?
Hi,

is answer b) also a possibility if except is treated as a preposition and being/their being cornered is treated as passive gerund?

You mean

Pumas never attack a human being except being cornered.

No, you can't say that. You need something in the same category as a human being, eg a child.

You could say

Pumas never attack a human being except a small child.

You see this more clearly if you say

Pumas never attack a human being except for a small child.

Clive
I see your point. It's a very clear explanation! I should have thought about it before asking. Thanks a lot Clive!!!

cubra
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