Using Being and Been

Using Being and Been

written by Lilian Ndongmo. ESL Teacher

Question from Musa: “When do I use being and been, with examples…please.”
 Similarity: Both being and been come from the verb “to be”.

 Using Being

Being can be used….
1. in passive sentences.
Example: The woman is being followed by the spy.

2. with prepositional phrases or verbs followed by a gerund
Examples: The teacher scolded John for being late.
                       He apologized for being rude.

3. to describe an action in progress. Here, being is usually followed by noun or an adjective.
Example: The king is being generous today. He is giving all his servants a bag of gold coins.

4. in sentences with a general meaning. In such a case, being is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Examples: Being late for work because the bus arrives late is not pleasant.
Being insulted by your boss is not respectful.
Being congratulated for a job well done is always motivating.

 Using Been
-Been is the past participle of the verb “to be”.
-Been is usually used with the perfect tense. The perfect tense is an advanced tense which can be broken down into three main groups: the present perfect, the past perfect and the future perfect tenses. Been is also used with perfect progressive tenses.

Been can be used…..
1. with the present perfect tense. Make sure to always conjugate the verb “to have” in the present simple tense ( follow the rules of subject-verb agreement).
Example: Jane has been to Paris.

2. with the past perfect tense
Example: Jane had been to Germany in 1990.

3. with the future perfect progressive tense
Example: Peter and Jane planned to meet at the restaurant at 10 AM. Peter arrived at 10 AM. It is now 10:30 AM; Jane is late. By 11 AM, Peter will have been waiting for Jane for one hour.

 When not to use been or being
The following sentences are wrong, and you should not use them.

  1. He will be being followed.
  2. I am being.
  3. I been a good man.
  4. I being late.
  5. She beings generous.