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  1. #1
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default to be / to become

    Dear members,

    Can you please tell me whether to be and to become both are same or not ?

    Like:
    I want to be a consultant
    I want to become a consultant.

  2. #2
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    Red face Re: to be / to become

    Hi Rajan,

    Although these are two different verbs, in spoken English the meaning would be the same. There are slight nuances in meaning but not enough to worry about - it all depends on who was saying it.

    Your two examples depend on the speaker =

    1. Is the speaker a child, a medical student or a psychiatric patient?
    2. Is the speaker a high school pupil or someone near to selecting their options at medical school? (To become something/someone suggests prior knowledge of to how to do so and an acceptance of your own abilities to do it).
    Not too sure that this is of any help - maybe other members can be of more help.
    Dippit

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: to be / to become

    Rajan,
    Your two examples can use either one, as far as I`m concerned .

    However, they cannot always be used interchangeably. Example:
    "I`m buying a new car, and I`d like it to be red."
    "Become" doesn`t work in this context.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: to be / to become

    There are cases where they can both be used, but 'become' describes a process or change, while 'be' describes a state.

  5. #5
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default Re: to be / to become

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    There are cases where they can both be used, but 'become' describes a process or change, while 'be' describes a state.
    .

    Can you please give me some examples.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: to be / to become

    What about looking at it this way, Rajan:

    [1] Being a doctor has its ups and downs. (I am a doctor)
    [2] Becoming a doctor has its ups and downs. (I am a doctor-in-training)

    ~.~

    [3] I am a doctor. (A doctor is what I am)
    [4] I will be a doctor. (A doctor is what I will be)
    [5] I will become a doctor. (A doctor is what I will turn into.)

    ~.~

    [6] The apple is red. (Red is its color)
    [7] The apple will be red. (Red will be its color)
    [8] The apple will become red. (The apple will turn/change in color to red)

  7. #7
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default Re: to be / to become

    Thanks for solving the query but how you will explain this (in bracket)

    I want to be a consultant (?)
    Can we say in this sentence someone is referring to a state what he wants to become in future.

    I want to become a consultant. (?)
    Can we say someone has not yet become consultant, he/she is under training. Once the process gets completed, he will become consultant.



    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    What about looking at it this way, Rajan:

    [1] Being a doctor has its ups and downs. (I am a doctor)
    [2] Becoming a doctor has its ups and downs. (I am a doctor-in-training)

    ~.~

    [3] I am a doctor. (A doctor is what I am)
    [4] I will be a doctor. (A doctor is what I will be)
    [5] I will become a doctor. (A doctor is what I will turn into.)

    ~.~

    [6] The apple is red. (Red is its color)
    [7] The apple will be red. (Red will be its color)
    [8] The apple will become red. (The apple will turn/change in color to red)
    Last edited by rajan; 30-Nov-2005 at 13:10.

  8. #8
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    Wink Re: to be / to become

    Hi - just have a good laugh about that famous mistake of Germans learning English: "Waiter, when shall I become a beefsteak?" Or alternatively: "Waiter, when shall I be a beefsteak?" Obviously, there is a difference.
    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: to be / to become

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan
    I want to be a consultant.

    Can we say in this sentence someone is referring to what he wants to become in future.
    Yes. "to be", as you know, is an infinitive and infinitives express an event as being unactualized. It's the infintive that tells us you are not yet a consultant; Cf. I can be a consultant; I will be a consultant; I should be a consultant.

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan
    I want to become a consultant.
    Can we say someone has not yet become consultant, he/she is under training. Once the process gets completed, he will become consultant.
    Yes. "to become" is also an infinitive. The difference between "be" and "become" is semantics. The latter houses the meanings 'change', 'turn'. There's a process involved; e.g., I can become a consultant; I will become a consultant; I should become a consultant.

    Does that help?

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