Use of Been: Properly in Your English Sentence

Use of Been: Properly in Your English Sentence

You can use the phrase ‘been’ to talk about an action, but you might want to avoid using it too casually. There is a subtle difference between correcting somebody’s grammar and explaining how something works or should be used (in general).

When someone uses ‘been’ badly, you needn’t correct that person outright – emphasizing the mistake in some other way will suffice:

  • It’s been snowing today!
  • I’ve been sitting here waiting, but it hasn’t stopped!

‘Been’ is sometimes used as a way to talk about how long something has been going on:

  • I’ve known this pub since I was six!
  • I’ve been playing badminton in this very field for thirty years!

And you can also add that something had happened before to make it happen:

  • I’ve been dreaming about this for years!
  • I’ve been hearing that story my whole life!

Important Point: In these sentences, the ‘been’-s speak for themselves; it takes no extra work to understand what has been going on or when.

How Does ‘Been’ Help You Master the English Language?

‘Been’ is an integral part of speaking English correctly. It helps you talk about how long something has been going on, and it also makes it clear that what happened before led to the current situation.

So, ‘been’ is an essential tool for English learners. Master this adjective, and you’ll be able to make your writing flow more naturally – both informal settings as well as when talking with friends on social media. For example:

  • She’s been studying hard as well.
  • I’ve been learning English for six months.
  • You had been sleeping for six hours last night.
  • I’ve been living in this city for three years now.
  • I’ve been eating at this restaurant for the past five years.

 

How to Use ‘Been’ in General English?

There are a few general rules to using ‘been’: It’s often used to talk about how long something has been going on. You can add that something has happened before to clarify the current situation. Been is rarely used for things that have just started happening – use ‘has’ or ‘had.’

Here are a few examples:

  • They’ve been married for five years.
  • I’ve been playing tennis for 10 years.
  • I’ve been working here for two years.
  • He’s been living in China for 10 years.
  • I’ve been going to this school for six years.

 

Advantages of Been over Synonyms

There are a few advantages to using ‘been’ over other Synonyms. Been’ is more formal – it’s used more often in writing than spoken English. It can be used to talk about how long something has been going on or what had happened before.

Synonyms like ‘have’ and ‘had’ can sound repetitive or awkward when talking about things that have just started happening. Been avoids this issue by making the current situation clear.

Been is less likely to confusion with other words, like ‘go’ or ‘come.’

It’s less likely to be misunderstood – something that ‘has been’ is more likely to be misinterpreted as being in the past tense.

For example:

  • He’s been living in China for 10 years

This sentence is clear, and it doesn’t sound like he is still living there.

  • I’ve been going to this school for six years.

The use of ‘been’ clarifies that this started happening before the present moment.

  • They’ve been married for five years.

Because ‘been’ is used, it’s clear why she lives with (living) him.

 

Use of Been For Different Types of Writing & Purposes

Different writing styles can be used for various purposes. For example, essay writing is typically used for academic purposes in college courses, while persuasive writing is often used in businesses and other professional settings. Many different writing styles can be used for specific purposes as well. Been is often used in informal, personal writing to avoid repetition.

Here are some examples of specific writing styles and how Been can be used to make the writing style more formal or informal:

Informal Writing:

  • I have been sitting here for the last hour.
  • Bob has been waiting in line for an hour.
  • Mike has been walking around for half an hour.
  • Tom has been playing video games for four hours.
  • Maria has been working at the customer service desk for three hours.

Formal Writing:

  • I have been seated at this desk for the last hour.
  • Bob has been an eager patient in line for an hour.
  • Mike has taken a one-hour walk around the block.
  • Maria has been employed at our customer service desk for three hours.
  • Tom has been an active participant in the video game-playing community for four hours.

 

The difference between formal and informal writing styles can be subtle, so Been must be used when appropriate to avoid confusion or inconsistency.

 

Usage of Been in Grammar Expressions

In English, there are a few grammar expressions that use been. One example is ‘have been.’ The phrase can be used to indicate past continuous action or state:

  • I have been waiting here for an hour.
  • They have been married for five years.

The expression can also be used to indicate past simple:

  • I had been waiting here for an hour when you arrived.
  • They had been married for five years when I met them.

The expression can also be used to indicate the future like this:

  • I will have been waiting here for an hour when you return in 2 days.
  • They will have been married for five years before the birth of their first child.

On a countable noun, ‘have been’ can be used to indicate past action or state:

  • She had simmered stew inside her saucepan all day.
  • He had remained in his seat for an hour when I came back.

 

Final Thoughts

‘Been’ is a valuable verb to use in English grammar expressions. It can indicate past continuous action or state, past simple, the future, and on a countable noun, it can indicate past action or condition. ‘Been’ is often followed by the infinitive when applied to a complex or straightforward verb. When using ‘Been,’ it is essential to be consistent in your usage so that readers don’t get confused or have to correct you.