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Sunday, February 07, 2010

When To Use Be, Been & Being

Be, been and being

By FADZILAH AMIN - thestar.com.my



WHAT is the difference between be, been and being?

Could you describe when and how to use them especially in academic writing? – IF



“BE” is the base form of the verb “be”; “been” is the past participle of the verb “be” and “being” is the present participle of the verb “be”.

“Be” is used whenever the base form of a verb needs to be used, for example after an auxiliary verb, e.g. in “You should be a good example to your younger siblings.”

It can also be used in the infinitive form of “be” as in “He wants to be an engineer.”

“Been”, like past participles of other verbs, is used to form a passive verb and also the present perfect and past perfect tenses, e.g.:

“The bag-snatcher has been arrested.” (passive sentence with passive verb “has been”)

“My parents have been a source of strength to me all my life.” (“have been” is a verb in the present perfect tense)

“She had been hungry all day until I brought her some food.” (“had been” is a verb in the past perfect tense)

“Being”, like present participles of other verbs, is used to form the present continuous (progressive) tense and the past continuous tense. Here are some examples:

“The little girl is being difficult, crying all day, because her mother won’t buy her a doll.” (“is being” is a verb in the present continuous tense)

“He was being friendly to her, but she thought he was trying to flirt with her.” (“was being” is a verb in the past continuous tense)

I am sorry, I can’t be more detailed than this, since space is limited. I have just given you some basic explanations and a few examples. You can consult a grammar book for further information. You need to be grammatical when you write, whether for academic purposes or other purposes.

There are also different kinds of academic writing, depending on what subject you are studying.

1 comment:

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