Been vs Being: Difference and Comparison

Both the words “been” and “being” 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.


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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 sentence’s subject, which occurred previously, but the effect does not exist now.

On the contrary, “being” is used to describe something that is taking place now, in other words, which is 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.

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

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 the subject was up to in the past.Informs about a condition or behaviour 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 the verb and noun sections of parts of speech. Being also plays 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 indicates things that happened to the subject in the past. Put 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”.

This sentence gives us the gist that the subject visited a place. Please, note that “visited” is used here because when “been” is used, it is a 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”.

We should notice that “been” is always used after the “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” indicates 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 been completed that morning.


What is the Meaning of Being?

Like “been”, it comes from the verb “be”. Adversely it is used to describe things of the present time.

Been is also used to describe a specific condition or change in behaviour. Here are some examples provided to make “being” more readily understandable. 

“Every human being of Delhi is now suffering because of this out-of-control air pollution”. In this sentence, “being” is seen to be used as a noun.

This indicates that in the sentence, the subject is in existence in the present time. “She is being obtuse”.

Here “being” is used to indicate a behaviour. 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 subject’s behaviour and “being” is used to describe the subject’s behaviour. “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”.


Main Differences Between Been and Being

  1. Originating 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”, a verb like have, has had- “been” is used. Conversely, after “to be”, verbs such as am, are, is “being” is used in a sentence.
  4. “Being” is a gerund, verb, and noun. But “been” is always a verb in the sentence.
  5. Actions are represented in the perfective form, which means a task has been finished, and “been” is used. And “being” can be used to show actions in progress. 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 these have been described above. The preceding verb for “being” must be in “to be” form.
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