We know that "to be" verb is not normally used in any continuous tenses except when it means "to behave"

To be :

6 [linking verb] to behave in a particular way

He was just being rude.

After "to be", we can have an adjective. However, after "behave", we have to use an adverb as in "The doctor behaved very unprofessionally".

My question is

Are "She is being rude/unprofessional..." and "She is behaving rudely/unprofessionally..." roughly the same?

Or is there any difference between them?

  • 2
    Only that being rude could refer just to speech. Jan 10, 2022 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


Yes, they are roughly the same. However, if you'd like to focus on the differences,

She is being rude

It's a general way of discussing rudeness, and could apply to either actions or speech. A default assumption might be speech, because that's a common way of being rude.

She is behaving rudely

Since it mentions the word "behavior", it seems to indicate her actions are involved.

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