Been vs Being: Difference and Comparison

“Been” is the past participle of the verb “be” used in the past and present perfect tenses, indicating actions or states that have occurred or are still ongoing. “Being” is the present participle of the verb “be” and is used in continuous tenses to indicate actions or states happening right now or at a specific time.

Key Takeaways

  1. Been is the past participle of the verb “be” and is used to indicate a completed action in the past.
  2. Being is the present participle of the verb “be” and indicates a continuous action in the present.
  3. Been is used in the present perfect tense, while being is used in the present continuous tense.

Been vs Being

Been is the past participle of the verb to be; being is the present participle of the verb to be. Been is used after the verb to have; being is used after the verb to be. Been can’t be used as a noun; being can be used as a noun. Been can’t be used as a gerund; being can be used as a gerund.

Been vs Being

Comparison Table

FeatureBeenBeing
DefinitionPast participle of the verb “to be”Present participle and gerund of the verb “to be”
FunctionIndicates an action that has already been completedIndicates an action that is ongoing or a state of being
UsageUsed with auxiliary verbs like “has,” “have,” and “had”Used with auxiliary verbs like “is,” “am,” “are,” “was,” and “were”
Exampleshave been to Paris.am being helpful.
Time ReferencePastPresent
Continuous TenseNot used in continuous tensesUsed in continuous tenses
FormIrregularRegular

What is the Meaning of “Been” and When to Use “Been”?

The word “been” has several meanings and uses in English. Here’s a breakdown:

Meanings:

  1. Past participle of the verb “be”: This is the most common meaning of “been.” It indicates that an action has already been completed.
  2. Presence or existence: In some contexts, “been” can simply mean “has been” or “has existed.
  3. Location or movement: “Been” can also indicate the location or movement of someone or something.
Also Read:  Does vs Did: Difference and Comparison

When to use “been”:

  • Use “been” with auxiliary verbs like “has,” “have,” and “had” to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses.
  • Use “been” in passive voice constructions.
  • Use “been” in idiomatic expressions like “been and gone,” “been around,” and “been meaning to.”

Examples:

  • Present perfect: I have been to London several times.
  • Past perfect: She had been working for the company for ten years.
  • Future perfect: We will have been married for twenty years next month.
  • Passive voice: The cake was been baked by my grandmother.
  • Idiomatic expressions: He was been and gone before I knew it.
  • Location: She has been in the kitchen all day.

It’s important to note that “been” is an irregular verb, and its past participle is “been,” not “being.”

Here are some additional points to remember about using “been”:

  • Avoid overuse: Using “been” too can make your writing sound awkward.
  • Use the correct tense: Make sure you use the correct tense with “been” based on the context.
  • Consider using “being” if in doubt: If you are unsure whether to use “been” or “being,” it is better to use “being.”
been

What is the Meaning of “Being” and When to Use “Being”?

“Being” has multiple meanings and functions in English, making it a versatile word in various contexts. Here’s a breakdown:

Meanings:

  1. Present participle of the verb “be”: This is the most common meaning of “being.” It indicates that an action is ongoing or a state of being exists.
  2. Gerund of the verb “be”: “Being” can also function as a noun, referring to the act of someone or something existing.
  3. Existence or state of being: Similar to “been,” “being” can express the concept of existence or a state of being.

When to use “being”:

  • Use “being” with auxiliary verbs like “is,” “am,” “are,” “was,” and “were” to form the present continuous, past continuous, and future continuous tenses.
  • Use “being” in passive voice constructions.
  • Use “being” as a noun to describe the act or state of someone or something existing.
  • Use “being” in idiomatic expressions like “being there,” “being oneself,” and “being in love.”
  • Use “being” in prepositional phrases like “without being seen” or “despite being tired.”

Examples:

  • Present continuous: I am being helpful today.
  • Past continuous: They were being chased by the dog.
  • Future continuous: We will be being careful on the road.
  • Passive voice: The book is being read by my son.
  • Noun: Being kind to others is important.
  • Idiomatic expressions: I’ll always be there for you.
  • Prepositional phrase: He entered the room without being noticed.
Also Read:  Morphology vs Syntax: Difference and Comparison

It’s important to note that “being” is a regular verb formed by adding “-ing” to the base form “be.”

Here are some additional points to remember about using “being”:

  • Clarity: When used as a noun, “being” can sometimes be vague. Consider using a more specific noun if possible.
  • Formal vs. informal: “Being” is considered a formal word. You might use “is” or “was” in informal contexts.
  • Avoid overuse: Just like “been,” overuse of “being” can affect your writing’s clarity and flow.
being

Main Differences Between Been and Being

  1. Tense:
    • “Been” is the past participle of the verb “be” and is used in past and present perfect tenses to indicate actions or states that have occurred or are still ongoing before the present or a specific point in the past.
    • “Being” is the present participle of the verb “be” and is used in continuous (progressive) tenses to indicate actions or states that are happening right now or at a specific point in time.
  2. Usage:
    • “Been” is used to form verb tenses like the past perfect (“had been”) or the present perfect (“have/has been”) and to indicate a past or ongoing state or action with a connection to the present.
    • “Being” is used in continuous tenses (e.g., “is being,” “was being”) to emphasize the ongoing nature of an action or state at a specific moment or during a certain period.
  3. Examples:
    • “I have been to Paris.” (Present perfect tense with “been” indicating a past experience relevant to the present.)
    • “She is being interviewed right now.” (Present continuous tense with “being” indicating an action in progress.)
    • “He had been studying for hours before the exam.” (Past perfect tense with “been” indicating an ongoing action in the past.)
References
  1. https://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/being_been.htm
  2. https://www.lexico.com/definition/being

Last Updated : 13 February, 2024

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24 thoughts on “Been vs Being: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table was particularly helpful in understanding the distinctions between ‘been’ and ‘being.’

    Reply
  2. I found the breakdown of ‘been’ and ‘being’ into meanings, functions, and usage to be very comprehensive.

    Reply

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