Using the Verb "to be"

The verb "to BE" (am, is), have the past forms (was + were)

But, the verb "to BE" is sometimes conjugated as been, being. Could you please explain this form? What form is it, and when is it used?

Situations like:
"Being a student can be stressful."
"He has been doing well in that class."

Another doubt I have is, when we use could, should with the verb "to BE". When we use "could" or "should", we shouldn't use the verb "to BE", correct?

Here is an example:,
"Actually, you could do very well."
"Actually, you could be do well."

Which is correct and are there any situations when I can use "BE" after "COULD"?

Everyone appreciates your kind help Ola and thank you so much.

Comments for Using the Verb "to be"

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Nov 18, 2010
Fantastic work!
by: Faisal

I am a new English learner. I like your site. Thanks. You are doing fantastic work!

Nov 15, 2010
Be, Being, Been
by: Ola Zur

Hi, Here goes:

Be = the base(infinitive) form
Example: She wants to be tall.

Being = a form used to show that the action is IN PROGRESS.

Example: She is being rude.
Explanation: She is behaving in a rude way (the action is IN PROGRESS).

Example: Being a movie star can be fun.
Explanation: Existing as a movie star can be fun.

Been= a form used to show that the action is COMPLETE.

Example: She has been sick all week.
Explanation: She started to be sick a week ago, and was sick until now. This week is now COMPLETE.

Regarding your other doubt, there isn't a rule saying you can NEVER use these words together.

For example, someone might ask you "Are you coming to the party tonight?"

And you could answer "Could be."

Then you could add "But I should be home rather early."

So, in many cases you CAN and SHOULD use these words together.

Your example "Actually, you could be do well" is indeed incorrect, but the problem with it is different. You are trying to tell the person that he will DO well. The verb "be" simply doesn't belong there.

I hope this clears things up...

Ola Zur is the editor of, an illustrated guide to English.

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