Become past tense

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Meaning of become

to begin to be or come to be something.


Word: become /bɪˈkʌm/
  • 1. He becomes anxious whenever he has to speak in public.
  • 2. She becomes more confident with each performance.
  • 3. The weather becomes warmer as spring approaches.

Past Simple

Word: became /bɪˈkeɪm/
  • 1. She became a doctor after years of hard work and dedication.
  • 2. They became friends during their summer vacation in Spain.
  • 3. The small startup quickly became a leading technology company in the region.

Past Participle

Word: become: /bɪˈkʌm/
  • 1. The ancient ruins had become covered with vines over the centuries.
  • 2. By the end of the presentation, the complicated topic had become understood by the entire class.
  • 3. The letter was finally become known to the public after years of secrecy.

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Bare infinitive

  1. Habitual Actions or General Truths. Use case. When describing actions that happen regularly or are universally true.
    Example. Water becomes ice when it freezes.
  2. Fixed Arrangements. Use case. For scheduled events in the near future, often with a specific time mentioned.
    Example. The new CEO becomes in charge next Monday.
  3. States. Use case. Describing a current state of being.
    Example. She becomes anxious whenever she has to speak in public.

Past Simple

  1. Completed Actions in the Past. Use case. For actions that were completed at some specific time in the past.
    Example. He became a doctor in 1990.
  2. A Series of Completed Actions. Use case. When narrating events that happened one after another in the past.
    Example. She woke up, became aware of the silence, and immediately called for help.
  3. Duration in the Past. Use case. To talk about how long something lasted in the past.
    Example. They became friends during college and have remained so ever since.
  4. Past States. Use case. Describing states or conditions in the past that are no longer true.
    Example. It became clear that we had lost our way.
  5. Habitual Actions in the Past (with 'used to'). Use case. Describing actions that were regular in the past but not anymore.
    Example. We became very close when we lived in the same neighborhood.

Past Participle

  1. Perfect Tenses.
  2. Present Perfect. Use case. For actions that happened at an unspecified time in the past and have relevance to the present moment.
    Example. She has become one of the company’s top sales representatives.
  3. Past Perfect. Use case. For actions that were completed before another action or time in the past.
    Example. By the time the award was given, he had already become famous.
  4. Future Perfect. Use case. For actions that will be completed before a specified future time.
    Example. By next year, she will have become a qualified pilot.

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing forms

A common mistake with the verb 'become' involves confusing its past simple form ('became') with its past participle form ('become'). In English, the past simple is used for actions that happened at a specific time in the past, while the past participle is often used in perfect tenses and passive voice constructions. For instance, incorrectly saying 'I have became a doctor' instead of the correct 'I have become a doctor' mixes up these forms, leading to grammatical errors.

— 02

Incorrect Present Perfect

Another frequent error is using the wrong form of 'become' when forming the present perfect tense. The correct construction involves the auxiliary verb 'have' plus the past participle 'become,' not the past simple. An example of this mistake would be saying 'I have became better at soccer' instead of the correct 'I have become better at soccer.' This error stems from not recognizing the role of the past participle in constructing perfect tenses.

— 03

Mistakes in Passive

Users often mistakenly use the past simple form in passive voice constructions where the past participle is required. For instance, saying 'He was became famous overnight' instead of the correct 'He became famous overnight' (active voice) or 'He was become famous overnight' (attempted passive voice, which is awkward and incorrect in English). The correct passive form would involve a different structure, as 'become' itself conveys the change of state.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between 'became' and 'become'?

'Became' is the simple past tense of 'become,' which is used to describe an action that started and finished in the past. For example, 'She became a doctor in 2010.' On the other hand, 'become' is used in several ways. as the base form, and as the past participle when combined with auxiliary verbs to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses. For instance, in the present perfect tense, you would say, 'She has become a renowned artist.'

How do I use 'became' in a sentence?

'Became' should be used when you're talking about a change that happened at a specific time in the past and is no longer happening. For example. 'He became interested in photography during his college years.' This sentence indicates that the interest in photography started at a certain point in the past.

How do I use 'become' as a past participle in a sentence?

The past participle 'become' is used with auxiliary verbs to form perfect tenses. Here are some examples. Present Perfect. 'They have become better at communicating.' Past Perfect. 'By the time the meeting started, we had become aware of the problem.' Future Perfect. 'By next year, she will have become a qualified pilot.' These sentences illustrate changes that have happened at an unspecified time before now, before another past action, or will happen before a specific time in the future, respectively.

Can 'become' be used in passive voice constructions? If so, how?

Yes, 'become' can be used in passive voice constructions, often to describe a change in state or condition. When used in the passive voice, 'become' is typically followed by an adjective or a noun that describes the new state. For example. Active. 'The caterpillar became a butterfly.' Passive. 'A butterfly was become by the caterpillar.' However, it's important to note that the passive voice example provided is awkward and not a common usage. Typically, 'become' in passive constructions is more naturally used with adjectives, such as. 'The building has become surrounded by water due to the flood.' In passive voice, the focus is on the action or state rather than who or what is performing the action.