Difference Between Been and Being

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 27, 2023

       

Difference Between Been and Being

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Introduction

There are several verbs or parts of speech that may confuse English speakers or writers. Thus, to achieve accuracy in your writing, it is important to understand the rules and avoid mistakes while using these forms of verbs. Writers often have to deal with confusing vocabulary that may or may not be appropriate in the context in which it is intended to be used. The words ‘Been’ and ‘Being’ are a form of the primary auxiliary verb ‘Be’, and they are used in their participle form in a sentence. The verb ‘be’ is the most commonly used ‘verb’ in the English language. ‘Be’ is an irregular verb that is combined with prepositions to create sentences. The two tenses of the verb "be," been and being, are frequently used in contrast to one another.

As the past tense of the verb ‘Be’, the word ‘Been’ is used to signify a finished activity and is therefore used in the perfect tense. It is usually used after the verb ‘have’. Because been is the past participle, it is frequently used in past tense sentences.

For Ex-

  • I have been to your house last year during the new year.        
  • She has been nothing but kind to us since the beginning.   

On the other hand, ‘Being’ is used as a present participle or a continuous form of the verb ‘Be’, therefore, it shows the action which is happening or is still in action. It is never used after ‘have’.

For Ex-

  • Avoid being in the sun for too long it’s harsh on the skin.             
  • The baby is being very difficult to handle.

Been vs. Being

The main difference to remember between ‘Been’ and ‘Being’ is that the former is the past participle form of the verb ‘to be’, whereas the latter is the present participle form of ‘to be’. We use ‘Been’ to describe an action that is already done or completed, whereas ‘Being’ describes an action that is still in existence or still going on. ‘Been’ is used in its perfect tense, while ‘Being’ is used in its continuous form.

For Ex-

  • I had been to Paris once.             
  • She must have been busy.             
  • I have been in the meeting since morning.

For Ex-

  • Why are you being like this?               
  • He was being rude to you.              
  • She loves being the leader of the team.

Difference between Been and Being in Tabular form

Parameters of comparisonBeenBeing
DefinitionIt is said to be the past participle form of the ‘Be’.It is said to be the present participle form of the verb ‘Be’.
Functions asIt acts as an auxiliary verb in a sentence to form perfect tense.It acts as an auxiliary verb in a sentence to form continuous tense.
Used in the sentence asIt can only be used as a verb.It can be used as both nouns as well as a verb.
Used withIt is commonly used with has, ‘have’, and ‘had’.It is usually used with is am, are, was, and were.
We don’t use been with prepositions.Being can be used with prepositions.
ExamplesI have been working since morning.You should have been more careful.Have you ever been to a museum?Greg has been rehearsing for his competition since yesterday.I am being completely honest with you.Her drawings are being presented at the exhibition.The students are being very naughty today.I don’t mind being in a group for this project.

What does ‘Been’ mean?

"Been" is the word "be" in past participle form. The verb "been" is used to describe a subject in terms of detail or information that is not currently occurring but rather is from a previous period. It is used to present a verb in its perfect tense form and is usually followed by ‘has’ or ‘have’ in a sentence. It is used only as verbs in a sentence but can’t be used as prepositions.

How and when to use ‘Been’

To describe your visit to somewhere.

For Ex-

  • Have been to Mumbai.            
  • Have you ever been to Delhi?

            I and my friends have been to London together.

When the action we are discussing is finished, it is used as a past tense of the verb ‘go’.

For Ex-

  • He has been to the shop.              
  • Kelly has been to the museum.
  •  We have been to our friend’s marriage last year.  

Additionally, it can also be used to describe ‘arrive’.

For Ex-

  • He has been coming late these days.             
  • We have been very late to reach the venue.             
  • Paul has been arriving late in meetings recently.

We can also use it with terms like- should have, would have, could have.

For Ex-

  • She should have been honest with you.             
  • We could have been there if we had left on time.              
  • I would have been able to come if I was not sick.

‘Been’ is used in various perfect tense forms like

Present perfect- She has been to Germany.

Present perfect continuous- He has been taking guitar lessons.

Past perfect- We had been to Singapore for a family trip.

Past perfect continuous- Henry had been training for his competition.

Future perfect- She will have been here for 2 years in May.

Future continuous- We will have been meeting since October.

The word "been" can also be used to describe anything that occurred in the past but continues to happen today.

For Ex-

  • I have been expecting an email from you.             
  • It has been snowing for 3 days.             
  • Polly had been sick for 5 days.

Examples-

  • She has been there for me in the past.
  • She had been working on this project since last month.
  • We should have been able to visit you.
  • Next year, we will have been met for 4 years.
  • I have been to Bangkok once.
  • We have been waiting for months for this approval.
  • How have you been recently?
  • He must have been injured badly after that lethal accident.
  • We also have been to the red fort when we visited Delhi last year.
  • Have you ever been to a music concert or a festival?

What does ‘Being’ mean?

The verb ‘be’ has a present participle, which we refer to as ‘being’. ‘Being’ can never come before have and is typically used after the verb ‘to be’ in any version of ‘be’. In continuous tenses, ‘being’ serves as the auxiliary verb. It is usually used to describe an action or an event that has occurred or is still in action. It can also be used as a noun in a sentence along with acting as a verb in an expression. Moreover, it can also be used to refer to events in the past that are continuing. We use ‘being’ with the verb forms such as – are, am, was, and were.

How and when to use ‘Being’

When it is used as a noun in a sentence it describes a creature or an existing person.

For Ex-

  • Human beings are responsible for their actions.
  • The new infection affected many human beings.
  • Have you ever witnessed any supernatural being in real life?

It is also used to denote the condition in which a law is about to take effect:

For Ex-

  • This law came into being after the president’s approval               
  • The curfew came into being due to the widespread coronavirus.              
  • The company rules came into being after workers protested against the illegal rules in the company.  

Used as a gerund in a sentence.

For Ex-

  • Do you like being in the spotlight?             
  • Being kind is his specialty.             
  • Do you love being silly?

It describes a person's actions or behaviors and is followed by an adjective:

For Ex-

  • She is being weird today.             
  • She is being clumsy nowadays.              
  • Candice is being silly with her questions.

We can also use ‘being’ with prepositions.

For Ex-

  • She got an award for being the best student in her class.             
  • Ron was in hospital after being injured in a match.             
  • Despite being sick, he attended the conference.

After certain verbs like avoid, enjoy, can’t stand, don’t mind, look forward to, practice, spend time, and stop, we can use ‘being’.

For Ex-

  • I enjoy being alone              
  • He can’t stand being late.             
  • Stop being such a lazy person.

Examples-

  • I am being very generous with you.
  • Do you like being a leader?
  • She was being dramatic with her facial expressions.
  • I am afraid of any kind of supernatural being.
  • All the contestants like being called for their performance.
  • Thank you for being helpful in the class today.
  • I am sorry for being rude and selfish yesterday.
  • I enjoy being on the art team of the college.
  • This law came into being after the citizens protested for it.
  • To avoid being in traffic take a different route in the evening.

Main differences between Been and Being in Points

  • The foremost difference to remember is that they both are the form of the verb ‘be’ but ‘Been’ is its past participle form, whereas ‘Being’ is its present participle form.
  • They both are used as auxiliary verbs in a sentence but ‘Been’ is used in its perfect tense form while ‘Being’ is used in its continuous form.
  • We can use ‘Been’ only as a verb in a statement, on the contrary, ‘Being’ can be used as a verb, noun, and a gerund as well.
  • ‘Being’ is used with the verbs is, am, are, was, and were as opposed to ‘Been’ used with the verbs has, have, and had.
  • The verb ‘Being’ can be used following a preposition, whereas the verb ‘Been’ cannot.
  • We use ‘Been’ to describe actions that are already done, while ‘Being’ is commonly used to describe the actions that ongoing or still not completed.
  • Examples of ‘Been’-
    • I have been to Darjeeling twice.                                   
    • Maria has been practicing since she was 5 years old.                                   
    • She has always been kind and nice to me.                                    
    • Have you been here before?
  • Examples of ‘Being’-
    • Why are you being shy in front of me?                                     
    • You are being unreasonable right now.                                      
    • I enjoy being with my friends.                                      
    • Sorry for being too late, I got stuck in the traffic.

Conclusion  

While using them in a conversation, some words in the English language could perplex its speakers and writers. Understanding the norms and the right usage of these phrases is essential for effective use in a statement. This article includes various examples and sentences to help readers better understand the notion of the words “Been” and “Being,” as well as the fundamental definitions of the two words, as well as the significant distinctions between them, in a tabular format as well as in points.

By comprehending their usage and definitions, it is simple to tell the difference between ‘been’ and ‘being’. ‘Being’ is used to reflect what is happening right now, ‘been’ is the past tense of the verb “be,” and using ‘been’ indicates something that is not or is not currently happening but happened in the past.

‘Been’ is the past participle form of the verb ‘be’ whereas, the verb ‘Being’ is the present participle form of the same verb ‘be’, the difference is that ‘been’ is mostly used as an auxiliary verb in its perfect tense form while ‘being’ is used in its continuous form in a sentence. We can only use ‘been’ as a verb in a sentence unlike ‘being’ which can be used as a verb as well as a noun. We use words like has, have, and had with the verb ‘been’ but on the contrary with ‘being’ we use words like- am, are, was, and were.

Examples of ‘Been’-

  • Our teachers have always been like that helpful and kind.                                    
  • I have been waiting for your call.                                    
  • It has been like this always.                                    
  • My father has been to Turkey in 2018.

Examples of ‘Being’-

  • Why are you being sad about an exam result?                                     
  • The best part of being a singer is to be able to meet the fans.
  • I am grateful for you always being there for me.                                     
  • Can you stop being so immature?

References

  1. https://www.legit.ng/1110052-difference-examples.html  
  2. https://www.inenglishwithlove.com/blog/difference-between-be-being-been  
  3. https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/vs/been-vs-being-differences-made-clear.html  
  4. https://www.espressoenglish.net/confusing-words-be-being-or-been/  
  5. https://akademia.com.ng/difference-between-been-and-being/

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"Difference Between Been and Being." Diffzy.com, 2024. Tue. 09 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-been-and-being>.



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