Welcome to today’s class where we look at two words that have confused English users for ages: BEING and BEEN .
Rule 1: BEING and BEEN are not synonymous and thus cannot be used interchangeably.
BEING is the present participle of the verb ‘to be’ while BEEN is the past participle of the same verb. That means BEING is mostly used in the present while BEEN is useful to refer to past actions.
Let’s use ‘to eat’ to explain it. The possible forms are: eats-eating-ate-eaten. ‘Eating’ is equivalent to ‘being’ while ‘eaten’ is equivalent to ‘been’.
The verb that helps BEING is ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were). This means it precedes BEING in any sentence.
The verb that helps BEEN is ‘to have’ (have, has, had).
Eg.1 He is being stubborn.
2. We have been to the place several times.
With gerunds or verbals, we use being. Simply put, whenever the verb has to act as a noun or adjective, we never use been.
Eg 1. Being lazy is not a good virtue
2. He was known for always being on time.
As for human being or for the time being, this is how they are spelt.
We hope you learnt something this week.
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