Is being a helping verb or a main verb? In this post, we will learn different uses of being in the English language.
In English, the verb being is used as both a helping and an action verb in different situation. Let’s understand how and when to use being in English.
Use of BEING in English
- As a main verb
- As a helping verb
- As a noun (gerund)
- As a present participle in participle phrases
- BEING as a noun
1. Use of being as a main verb
As a main verb, BEING is the present participle (V3) of the verb BE. As a main verb, being refers to a continuous state of being that someone deliberately is in. It is used as a main verb in the Present continuous tense and the Past Continuous tense.
|V1||V2||V3 (past participle)||Present participle (V1+ing)|
|Be (is/am/are)||was, were||been||being|
When being is used as a main verb (stative), it is followed by the helping verb BE (is, am, are, was, were).
Structure: Subject + is/am/are/was/were + being + adjective/noun
Examples of BEING as a main verb:
- You are being funny.
- She is being silly right now.
- Why are you being my father?
- Jon is being a great team member to us.
- She was being crazy in the party last night.
- I am just being sarcastic. Excuse me!
- They were being really rude to me yesterday.
- Jyoti is not being sincere towards her job.
- You are not being you.
In all the above sentences, being is working as a stative verb. It is not showing any dynamic action. It is just showing a state of being that someone is or was in deliberately. Try replacing it with the verb ‘behaving.’ You will understand what it’s doing.
Note: Do not use feelings or emotions after BEING.
- I am being happy. ❌
- I am happy. ✔️
- He is being sad/emotional. ❌
- He is sad/emotional. ✔️
You don’t deliberately get into a state of a feeling/ emotion. You can’t just turn it on and off; a feeling or emotion is a consequence.
2. Use of being as a main verb
We use being as a helping verb in the Present Continuous tense and the Past Continuous tense in passive voice.
Present continuous tense (passive voice)
Subject + is/am/are + being + V3 + (by the doer)
Past continuous tense (passive voice)
Subject + was/were + being + V3 + (by the doer)
Examples of being as a helping verb:
- We are writing a book about human mind. (active, present continuous)
- A book on human mind is being written (by us). (passive, present continuous)
- The cops were beating some kids brutally. (active, past continuous)
- Some kids were being beaten. (passive, past continuous)
- She is being offered a job.
- I am being ridiculed.
- My friends are being beaten up.
- The next video is being recorded right now.
- Your efforts are being appreciated.
- His father is being checked up right now.
- The food is being prepared right now.
- The movie was being made that time.
- That book was being written last month.
- The actors were being tested for their roles.
- Our annual performance was being evaluated in the meeting last night.
NOTE: In passive voice, the focus is given to the receiver of the action, and the doer is generally ignored. As a result of which, we, usually, don’t add the doer of the action in a passive voice sentence.
3. Use of being as a noun (gerund)
- Being a politician in this country is tough.
(Gerund phrase = Being a politician in this country, acting as the subject)
- Being angry does not help in taking rational decisions.
(Gerund phrase = Being angry, acting as the subject)
- Being a teacher allows you to change lives.
(Gerund phrase = Being a teacher, acting as the subject)
- I hate being his friend.
(Gerund phrase = Being his friend, acting as the object of the verb)
- The benefit of being my friend is that nobody messes up with you.
(Gerund phrase = Being my friend, acting as the object of the preposition OF)
4. Use of being as a present participle in participle phrases
Being is also used in the beginning of a participle phrase. Let’s take some examples of being as a present participle.
A participle phrase works either as an adjective or an adverb in a sentence.
- Being scared to death, I don’t play with dogs.
- Rahul, being a father of two kids, does not flirt with girls.
- Being the owner of the company, you have to deal with all the complaints.
- Being a cop, he has to be strong.
5. BEING as a noun
Being means “a life” or “existence” and can be used as a word.
- Every being deserves to live.
- The movement of releasing stray dogs was brought into being last year.
- Many believed that Shiva is a mythical being.
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