Being and been are commonly confused words. Have you experienced problems with them?  They are actually simple to understand, as you will find out soon. In this article I intend to explain their uses, then tell you the simple way to quickly know the correct word to use even if you have problems grasping the intricacies of the matter.


Being
is the present participle of the verb be. It is generally used when expressing an action as it is taking place or in the sense of its taking place whether in the present, past or future. Rule of thumb: Being goes with the auxiliary be (am, is, are, was, were).

  • Hauwa is being trained in web development and programming.
  • If you were being attacked at the time as you claim, why did you not shout for help?
  • When you are being examined, you must give the doctor maximum cooperation.
  • You are being silly.
  • When the house was being renovated, the occupants had to move out temporarily.
  • Weren’t you just being difficult?

Been is the past participle of the verb be. It is generally used when expressing an action in the sense of its being past or completed. Rule of thumb: Been follows have (has, have, had), with the two often forming a compound auxiliary.

  • Mr Savage has been coaching our school’s judo team for seven years.
  • I haven’t been to the venue yet.
  • Roland has been subpoenaed to appear at the port robbery trial.
  • By this time tomorrow Sola’s biometrics should have been taken.
  • Had it been there when I checked, that would have concluded matters right away.
  • Have you been to the venue?
  • Having been robbed at night once, Njideka doesn’t drive at night.


Being vs having been

To put it in simple terms, this is present tense vs past tense. Being means that something is ongoing at the present time. Having been means it happened or was once ongoing in the past.

  • Being a farmer, Erere is familiar with weeds.
  • Having been a farmer, Erere is familiar with weeds.

The first sentence implies he is still a farmer. The second implies he was once a farmer. If I was asked to use both in a sentence, I’d say something like this.

  • Having been excluded from selection, I can’t understand why I’m being blamed for the team’s loss.


Is being vs has been

Is being means that something is going on now.  Has been means it happened sometime in the past and is not ongoing.

  • Technology is still being developed in the area of minimally invasive surgery.
  • A new town has been developed around Mowe to improve residential housing.


Being as a noun or gerund

Being can also be a noun. A gerund is a type of noun made from a verb by adding -ING.

  • Noun: Angels are said to be supernatural beings.
  • Gerund: Being famous has its rewards but being kind is of lasting value.


Summary: If you have a problem remembering which to use between being and been in the heat of things, just remember that being is used with be (is, was, are, am, were) and been is used with have (has, have, had). Whatever you do, please don’t write the monstrosity, having being. . . .