be, been and being

WHAT is the difference between

be, been and being?

 

“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)

 

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