Been and Being are two words that students often confuse with each other. Both words are classified as participles. Being is specifically identified as the present participle, while been is the past participle.


1. The word been can only be used after have (in any form, e.g., has, had, will have, would have, etc).


  • I have been there
  • She has been there
  • She would have been there if not for the delay

2. The word been is the past participle form of be

Uses of the word BEEN

  • Present perfect: I’ve been to London thrice
  • Present perfect continuous or progressive: I have been to the event
  • Past perfect: I had never been there before until I met him
  • Past perfect continuous or progressive: When I first came to London I had been studying English for five years. I had been looking for a different kind of learning experience.
  • Passive form of the present perfect: English students have been taught well. Several topics have been covered.
  • Passive form of the past perfect: George did very well on his test. The grammar had been explained very clearly.


The word being is never used after have. Being is used after ‘to be’ (in any form, e.g., is, was, were) Example, She is being nice


1. Being + past participle

Being can be followed by a past participle. This structure is used in the passive forms of present and past continuous tenses .Eg My mother is writing a letter = A letter is being written by my mother

2. Being + adjective

The structure being + adjective is used to talk about actions and behaviour.


  • Why are you being so silly?
  • You are being cruel when you hurt others with your words or actions.

3. Being as a Noun

The word ‘being’ can also be a noun. As a noun, being means a person or a living creature. Supernatural beings refer to spirits or gods.

Examples are: human beings, social beings, supernatural beings etc.

Now let’s see how much you’ve learnt. Attempt the questions below and send your answers in the comments.

Select the correct version:

  1. Bobola has ……… (been / being) very naughty in recent times.
  1. The missing school girls have ……….  (been / being) making headlines since last year.
  1. Has this food ……….. (been / being) microwaved?
  1. The court ruled that the teacher was ………… (been / being) vindictive.
  1. You are ………… (been/being) silly for insulting your mum.