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Become a Pro at Using the Verb Become

Becoming a pro doesn't happen overnight; it takes practice.

But no one really gets excited about practicing grammar alone.

On the TOEFL Writing section, there are some instances where you may want to use this verb become. Yet, in my experience many students will use this verb incorrectly.

Let's start with the basics.

Simple Present Tense

  • Use when it's a fact, habit or regular occurrence

Example: When I do not wear socks I become cold.

This is a fact. Every time I don't wear socks, my body temperature drops.

Simple Past Tense

  • Use when an event is done, finished and over.

Example: Yesterday, when I walked around my house without socks I became cold.

This event of walking around without socks on happened yesterday. It is now finished.

Present Perfect Tense

  • Use when it started at some unspecific time in the past and it is still true right now.

Example: My hair has become longer.

I don't know when exactly my hair started growing so it started at an unknown time in the past. It is still growing right now.

Past Perfect Tense

  • Use when you are talking about an event that happened in the past BEFORE another event that happened in the past.

Example: We had become close friends by the time we graduated from college.

The close friendship developed BEFORE we graduated.

Future Tense

  • Use when you are talking about a future event that hasn't happened yet

Example: The man I met today in class was fascinating and I'm sure we will become close friends.

Since I just met him we aren't close friends yet. This is a future event that I'm sure will happen. You can also say we are going to become close friends.

Most of the time on your TOEFL test, you will probably use the present perfect form of become.

For instance:

Computers have become a big part of our lives.

Technology has become integral to our existence.

Computer skills have become important for attaining employment.

Check out this video for more on the verb become and exactly how to use it.

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