Being or Been?
Being or Been?What is the difference between "being" and "been"?
Use "being" after the verb "to be" (e.g., am, is, are, was, were). For example:
- The greatest benefit is being in Paris.
- He was being an idiot.
- I have been to Paris.
- The puma has been seen in the city.
More about "Being" and "Been"Writers occasionally confuse the words "being" and "been" because they sound similar and both come from the verb "to be."
As a rule, the word "been" is always used after "to have" (in any of its forms, e.g., "has," "had," "will have," "having"). Conversely, the word "being" is never used after "to have." "Being" is used after "to be" (in any of its forms, e.g., "am," "is," "are," "was," "were").
- I have been busy.
- Terry has being taking the stores to the shelter. (Remember that "being" cannot follow the verb "to have" (here, "has").)
Been or being? This flow diagram will get you the right answer.
The Words "Been" and "Being" Are ParticiplesLet's get technical for a second.
Been is a Past Participle. The word "been" is the past participle of the verb "to be." As such, it can be used with "have" (in all its guises) to form tenses in the perfect (or complete) aspect. For example:
- The dog has been naughty. (The action is over. It's completed.)
- More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth. (Author Napoleon Hill) (The action is completed.)
- The dog is being naughty. (The action is ongoing. It's continuing.)
- More gold is being mined from the thoughts of men than is being taken from the earth. (The action is continuing.)
"Being" as a NounThe word "being" can be a common noun. In this use, it means a person or creature. For example:
- I'm not an animal. I'm a human being. (The Elephant Man)
- A strange being appeared at the door of the space ship.
"Being" as a GerundThe word "being" can also be a gerund, which is a type of noun. In this use, it has a meaning similar to "existing." For example:
- Do you like being so ignorant?
- The accident was caused by his being so clumsy.
- I live in terror of not being misunderstood. (Playwright Oscar Wilde)
- Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. (Mother Teresa)
More about "Been" and "Being" as Participles"Being" is the present participle of the verb "to be." (For comparison, "cooking" is the present participle of the verb "to cook.")
"Been" is the past participle of the verb "to be." (For comparison, "cooked" is the past participle of the verb "to cook.")
Often participles are used as adjectives before nouns, but "being" and "been" are not used this way. Look at these examples with the past participles "deleted" and "broken" and the present participles "cooking" and "running."
- broken link
- deleted file
- cooking sauce
- running shoes
- the been car (What does this mean? The car that used to be a car? This is nonsense.)
- the being tree (The tree that is a tree? This is nonsense.)
- He is being stupid.
- He is been stupid. (Remember that "been" goes with "has.")
- He has been stupid.
- Being such a lazy oaf, Tony often drives to the nearby shops. ("Being such a lazy oaf" is a participle phrase that describes Tony.)