Be vs. Become

What's the Difference?

Be and become are both verbs that refer to existence or transformation, but they have different connotations. "Be" is used to indicate a state of being or identity that is already present, while "become" implies a process of change or transformation from one state to another. For example, one can be happy or sad, but one becomes a doctor or a teacher through education and training. In essence, "be" is about the present state of being, while "become" is about the journey towards a future state.


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DefinitionTo exist or liveTo undergo a change or transformation
Photo by Iulia Mihailov on Unsplash

Further Detail


Be and become are two verbs that are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. The verb "be" is used to indicate a state of existence or identity. It is the most basic verb in the English language and is used to describe the subject of a sentence. On the other hand, the verb "become" is used to indicate a change in state or condition. It is used to show the process of transformation or development.


The verb "be" is used to describe a permanent or temporary state of being. For example, "I am happy" or "She is a doctor." It is also used to form the passive voice, as in "The book was written by the author." On the other hand, the verb "become" is used to describe a change or transformation. For example, "She became a teacher after graduating from college" or "The caterpillar became a butterfly."


The verb "be" is an irregular verb with various forms depending on the tense and subject. It can be conjugated as "am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been." On the other hand, the verb "become" is a regular verb that follows the pattern of "become, became, become." It does not change based on the subject or tense, making it easier to use in different contexts.


The verb "be" is used to link the subject of a sentence to a noun, pronoun, or adjective that describes it. It is essential for forming sentences in English and is used in various tenses and moods. On the other hand, the verb "become" is used to show a transition or change in the subject. It is often used to describe a process or journey from one state to another.


Here are some examples to illustrate the difference between "be" and "become":

  • Be: "She is a student at the university."
  • Become: "She became interested in art after visiting a museum."
  • Be: "They are happy to see each other."
  • Become: "They became friends after working together on a project."


In conclusion, while "be" and "become" are both essential verbs in the English language, they serve different purposes. "Be" is used to describe a state of being or existence, while "become" is used to show a change or transformation. Understanding the nuances of these verbs can help improve your writing and communication skills.

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