English language is known for being overly complicated sometimes, and even native speakers often make some mistakes. It gets even more confusing, when the words sound almost the same, but are used in different scenarios. In this article, we will explain the difference between ‘been’ and ‘being’ in English language, as well as give the examples of proper use for both words.
When speaking, it is usually hard to tell if the person is using ‘been’ or ‘being’, depending on the accent. Whereas in writing, these words are used in different situations.
Both ‘been’ and ‘being’ are forms of the verb ‘be’; however, there are certain rules in English grammar that tell you whether to use ‘been’ or ‘being’.
When to use ‘been’
‘Been’ is the third form or a past participle of the verb ‘be’ and it is used after the word ‘have’ (including its other forms, such as ‘had’ and ‘has’. This happens mostly with perfect tenses, in cases of future-in-the-past events and with past conditionals. For example:
☆ I have been doing her laundry for the past hour.
☆ How have you been holding up?
☆ He has been busy lately.
☆ It had been raining all afternoon before the sun finally came out.
☆ It would have been great to go to that concert.
☆ She will have been single for a year in September.
☆ You must have been so bored during that event!
‘Been’ is also used with passive voice:
☆ I have been kidnapped.
☆ The steak has been roasted.
When to use ‘being’
‘Being’, on the other hand, is never used after ‘have’. It is a continuous form or a present participle of ‘be’, which means that it needs to be used to show the action that is (or has been) happening for some time. It is also used with gerund (a form of a verb that acts as a noun) and continuous passive voice. See examples below:
☆ She is being overly dramatic.
☆ Do you enjoy being this annoying?
☆ We are being served.
☆ They were being detained in a prison cell.
You might have noticed that ‘being’ is also a noun. It means ‘creature’, ‘entity’, or ‘existence’. If used in the context of ‘creature’, it can be a human being, an alien being, an intelligent being, a mythical being, and so on. ‘Entity’ means supernatural being, astral being, or immaterial being. Being as existence is self-explanatory. There is also ‘well-being’, which means welfare or health.
As with any other language, English might seem too complicated for a person that has just started learning it. English grammar is often regarded as illogical even by people who have been speaking this language from birth. However, if you know the rules and how to use them, you will figure this out in no time. We hope that we have been able to clear this up, and that you were being attentive. See what we did there? :) Best of luck in your English learning!
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