Difference Between Been and Being (With Table)

Been vs Being

The key difference between Been and Being lies in the fact that “Been” is not used with prepositions while being is used with prepositions. Been stands as a verb in the part of speech whereas being stands as a verb and noun in the part of speech. Been is commonly used with ‘has’, ‘had’ and ‘have’ but being is used with I, am, is, are, was and were.

Both the words “been” and “being” are originated from one particular word “be” which is not independently used in a sentence. But with prepositions “be” is often seen to be used to form a sentence. One might get caught up in a dilemma regarding when to use “been” or “being” in a sentence.

We should be using “been” to indicate some information about the subject of the sentence, which took place previously but the effect is not in existence in the present time.

On the contrary, “being” is used to describe something that is taking place now in other words which are happening in the present time. Furthermore, it also takes place in the sentence to indicate the existence of certain events or something related to the subject.


 

Comparison Table Between Been and Being (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonBeenBeing
DefinitionOriginated from the verb “be” it is used as a past participle in a sentenceAlso originating from “be” it plays the role of the present participle in the sentence
TimeTo indicate the things that happened in the past or task which has been completed, “been” is used.To describe something happening in the present, things in existence in the present time “being” gets used in the sentence.
UsageNotifies about the subject of the sentence as in what was the subject up to in the past.Informs about a condition or behavior regarding the subject which is possessed in the present time
In which Parts of speech, it belongs“Been” is always used as a verb in the sentence.It belongs to both verb and noun section of parts of speech. Being also play the role of the gerund in the sentence.
Whether it goes along with the prepositionNo. Been is not used with prepositions in a sentence.Yes. Being can always be used with prepositions to form a sentence.

 

What is the Meaning of Been?

Been is another version of the verb “be” which is used to indicate things happened to the subject in the past. Putting differently, the effect of the events happening to the subject is not in existence in the present time.

Some examples are provided here to understand how “been” is used in practice or to form a sentence. “I have been to Sajek”. Here in this sentence, we get the gist that the subject visited a place. Please, note that “visited” is used here because when “been” is used, it is the rule of thumb to presume that we are not talking about the present time.

Also, from the sentence, we get the information about the subject going somewhere in the past. “The journalist has been waiting to meet the celebrity at the airport for more than forty minutes”.

Here we should notice that “been” is always used after “to have” verb. Also, in this sentence, the expression is the journalist waited for 40 minutes but the time has no existence now as it passed with the moments.

Been is also used as a past form of go. Which at the same time also means the completion of a task.

“Sharma has been to the gym this morning”. In this sentence “been” is used in a way to indicate that Sharma went to the gym in the morning also the task to be completed by Sharma which is going to the gym by Sharma has also been completed that morning.

Usage of Been
Usage of “Been”
 

What is the Meaning of Being?

Just like “been” it also comes from the verb “be”. Adversely it is used to describe things of the present time. Been is also used to describe a certain condition or change in behavior.

Here are some examples provided to make the usage of “being” more easily understandable.  “Each and every human being of Delhi are now suffering because of this out of control air pollution”.

In this sentence “being” is seen to be used as a noun. Which indicates that in the sentence the subject is in existence in the present time.

“She is being totally obtuse”. Here “being” is used to indicate a behavior. From this sentence, it should also be noted that “being” takes place before an adjective. Here in this sentence “obtuse” is an adjective used to describe the behavior of the subject and “being” is used to describe the behavior of the subject.

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“We will never forget him for being with us to help in our darkest hours”. Here we see that “being” is used with prepositions too. It can take place before and after the preposition. So, there is nothing to be confused about this usage of “being”.

Usage of Being
Usage of “Being”

Main Differences Between Been and Being

  1. Originated from “be”, both the words might seem similar but “been” and “being” are used as “past participle” and “present participle” respectively.
  2. “Being” can be used with prepositions. But “been” should never be used with prepositions.
  3. After “to have” verb like have, has had- “been” is used. Conversely, after “to be” verb such as am, are, is “being” is used in a sentence. 
  4. “Being” is used as a gerund, verb, and a noun. But “been” plays the role of a verb always in the sentence.
  5. Actions represented in the perfective form which means a task has been finished “been” is used. And “being” can be used to show actions in the form of progressive. In other words, the event is ongoing.
  6. To maintain accordance with the verb with its subject “been” is used with past participles. Examples of which have been described above. The preceding verb for “being” must be in “to be” form.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Been and Being

  1. How do you use being and been in a sentence?

    The word ‘being’ is the present participle of the word ‘be’ whereas the word ‘been’ is the past participle form of ‘be’.

    Being can be used along with an auxiliary verb or as a direct verb. Been is always used with an auxiliary verb such as have, had and has, etc.

    Example of being and been in a sentence:-
    I have been in a fight with those people but now I am being patient with them.

  2. What is the past tense of being?

    Being is the present participle form of ‘be’ and been is the past participle form of ‘be’. Hence, with this observation, we can deduce that been can be treated as the past tense form of being.

  3. When to use has been or have been in a sentence?

    Has been and have been are both used in the present perfect tense.

    The present perfect tense is used to denote an action that was started in the past and is still in progress.
    a) Has been is used for third-person singular form.

    Examples
    He has been working since 4 o’clock.
    Have been is used for the first person, second person, and third-person plural form.

    Examples
    I have been waiting for you for a very long time.
    You have been drinking your tea for a half-hour.
    They have been waiting for us.

  4. How to use being correctly?

    The word being is used in present and past continuous tense or as a gerund.

    Using being as a present and past continuous will be like this:
    She is being good.
    He was being rude.
    You are being crazy.

    As a gerund:
    Do you like being an actress?
    Being patient all the time is depressing.

  5. Can you start a sentence with being?

    Yes, you can absolutely start a sentence with being if you are using it as a gerund. It means it may look like a verb but it would act as a noun.

    For example –
    Being a comedian is fun.
    Being with you is fantastic.
    Being honest is sometimes exhausting.
    Being happy means being lively.


 

Infographic

Been vs Being

 

Conclusion

To accelerate our knowledge level further, it is worth knowing that there are in total 3 non-modal auxiliary verbs.

These 3 non-modal auxiliary verbs are (1) be (2) do (3) have. Even many native English writers get grappled to decide when “been” and “being” should be used for correct writing.

To maintain zero mistakes on that the basic rule is to remember that “been” is used for past events and “being” is for present events.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Been and Being

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Been and Being. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Been and Being 1
Word Cloud for Been and Being

 

References

  1. https://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/being_been.htm
  2. https://www.lexico.com/definition/being
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being