Here is my question: Can I say "he is being sick"?
I was looking for how to use been and being.

What I have found:

The word being is the present participle form of the verb be. It is not used after have. As a rule, being is used after a form of be (is, am, are, was, were).

  • He is being sick. (= He is vomiting.) (NOT He has being sick.)
  • Who is being a silly baby, then?
  • I was being careful.

(English Practice: Difference between being and been)

Some guy said I could not use "he is being sick" because it sounds unnatural.

  • 5
    In the context of saying he is currently vomiting, "he is being sick" is perfectly valid. Some guy is wrong. Feb 2, 2016 at 17:00
  • Second that. "Some guy" is apparently unfamiliar with even slightly good English. Feb 2, 2016 at 17:12
  • 1
    I think some guy is not making the connection between being sick and vomiting. He is being ill would certainly sound unnatural, outside of India.
    – WS2
    Feb 2, 2016 at 17:16
  • Actually, "some guy" makes sense. The third line ("He is being ...") answers your question. His last two lines are cheeky examples of using the word "being".
    – Lawrence
    Feb 2, 2016 at 17:23
  • Lawrence, "some guy" in this case is whoever told OP that "he is being sick" wasn't valid. Feb 2, 2016 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


As has been mentioned, "being sick" is often used as a polite euphemism for "vomiting", and is widely used for that purpose.

I suspect that your friend was referring to a person being ill (feeling miserable, suffering a disease, etc), and in that case he or she was correct. Ordinarily you would say "He is sick" rather than "He is being sick".

Generally, the construction "He is being (something)" is used when (something) is a matter of choice, such as "He is being greedy", or "He is being obstinate" or "He is being generous", while being sick is not a matter of choice.

I can imagine an exception, but it is considerably involved. Let's say a mutual friend is well-known for his hypochondria, and has claimed it repeatedly when it seems to conveniently remove him from some obligation. You might say to another friend, "Don't expect to see him today. He has a paper due, and he hasn't finished it, so he's being sick." Here, "being sick" is used as a sarcastic replacement for "malingering".

  • @Mikhail - thanks for the vote. However, it's generally best to wait for 24 hours before selecting an answer. You never know when a better answer will come along, or someone else may point out that the answer is wrong. And really, there's no hurry. Feb 2, 2016 at 18:31

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