Been vs. Being: What's the Difference?
"Been" is the past participle of "be," used to form perfect aspect; "Being" is its present participle, forming continuous aspect.
"Been," as the past participle of the verb "be," denotes a state of existence or occurrence in the past, contributing to perfect tenses that indicate completed actions. "Being," the present participle, suggests a state of existence or occurrence in the present, forming continuous tenses representing ongoing actions.
"Been" is instrumental in composing the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses, signifying actions completed at some point in the past or by a certain future moment. "Being" forms present continuous, past continuous, and future continuous tenses, indicating actions happening now, in the past around a moment, or in the future.
"Been" in passive voice constructions depicts actions done to the subject by something else, an event completed. Contrarily, "Being" in passive forms shows something is currently happening to the subject, an ongoing event or condition.
"Been" requires an auxiliary verb (has, have, had) to form perfect tenses, showing a link between past actions and the present or future. "Being" requires a form of "be" as an auxiliary verb to create continuous tenses, highlighting the progression of an action.
"Been" is not used to describe a state or action on its own but combines with other verbs to provide a temporal context. "Being," however, can also imply the nature or essence of a person or thing, beyond its grammatical role in verb tenses.
Past participle of "be"
Present participle of "be"
Perfect tenses (present, past, future)
Continuous tenses (present, past, future)
Used in passive voice
Used in passive and active voice
Not used alone
Can denote existence or essence alone
Been and Being Definitions
"Been" is used in passive voice constructions.
The work has been completed.
"Being" is used in passive constructions.
The road is being repaired.
"Been" forms the perfect aspect with "have" or "had."
She had been waiting for hours.
"Being" can denote the essence of something.
Happiness is about being content.
"Been" indicates a completed state or action.
I have been to Spain twice.
Being" indicates a current state or ongoing action.
I am being serious.
"Been" links past actions to the present.
They have been friends since childhood.
"Being" forms the continuous aspect with "be."
She is being interviewed right now.
"Been" shows experience or change.
He has been a teacher and a lawyer.
The state or quality of having existence
Technical advances that have only recently come into being.
Past participle of be.
The totality of all things that exist
Theologians who hold that the mind of God is the source of all being.
Inflection of be.
All the fries have been eaten.
"The artist after all is a solitary being" (Virginia Woolf).
Inflection of be.
He been had that job.
We been knew they was doing this.
An individual form of life; an organism
"We [humans] are the only beings who are aware that we shall die" (Seyyed Hossein Nasr).
Synonym of be.
It useta been five foot long.
An imaginary, conjectural, or supernatural creature
All the qualities constituting one that exists; the essence
The very being of human nature.
The past participle of Be. In old authors it is also the pr. tense plural of Be. See 1st Bee.
Assembled been a senate grave and stout.
One's basic or essential nature
"[My grandfather's] face, words and gestures are a permanent part of my being" (Duane Nitatum).
Because; since. Often used with as or that.
Present participle of be
A living creature.
The state or fact of existence, consciousness, or life, or something in such a state.
(philosophy) That which has actuality (materially or in concept).
(philosophy) One's basic nature, or the qualities thereof; essence or personality.
(obsolete) An abode; a cottage.
Given that; since.
A man who is being strangled.
While the article on Burns was being written.
Fresh experience is always being gained.
Existence, as opposed to nonexistence; state or sphere of existence.
In Him we live, and move, and have our being.
That which exists in any form, whether it be material or spiritual, actual or ideal; living existence, as distinguished from a thing without life; as, a human being; spiritual beings.
What a sweet being is an honest mind !
A Being of infinite benevolence and power.
Lifetime; mortal existence.
Claudius, thouWast follower of his fortunes in his being.
An abode; a cottage.
It was a relief to dismiss them [Sir Roger's servants] into little beings within my manor.
Since; inasmuch as.
And being you haveDeclined his means, you have increased his malice.
The state or fact of existing;
A point of view gradually coming into being
Laws in existence for centuries
A living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
"Being" suggests temporary behavior.
Why are you being so quiet?
Can "been" stand alone?
No, it's used with auxiliary verbs.
Can "being" start a sentence?
Yes, especially in continuous tenses.
Can "been" indicate experience?
Yes, in perfect tenses.
Does "been" require "have" or "had"?
Yes, in perfect tenses.
Is "been" used in the passive voice?
Yes, indicating past participle.
Is "been" a verb?
It's the past participle of "be."
Is "being" a noun?
It can be, meaning existence.
Does "being" indicate ongoing action?
Yes, it's the present participle of "be."
What tenses use "been"?
Perfect tenses (present, past, future).
Is "been" always past?
It reflects past action affecting present.
Is "been" for completed actions?
Yes, in perfect tenses.
Does "being" show current state?
Yes, in continuous or passive forms.
Is "being" always ongoing action?
Mostly, except as a noun.
Can "being" be about existence?
Yes, as a noun.
Does "being" imply temporariness?
Often, in continuous tenses.
Is "being" passive?
It can be used in passive constructions.
Can "being" mean nature or essence?
Yes, as a noun or gerund.
Does "been" follow "has" or "have"?
Yes, forming perfect tenses.
Does "being" work with "is" or "are"?
Yes, in continuous tenses.
Can "been" show past relevance?
Yes, in present perfect tense.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.