When I google "we have grown to be" and "we have grown to become" respectively, I get a decent number of hits for both (22 pages and 24 pages respectively, set to UK pages only), which suggests that both are correct – but what is the difference between them? When I look at the hits I get, it seems they are interchangeable – is this so?

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    Young people who had enjoyed early success might reflect that they had grown to become leaders in their field. Many years later they might reflect that they had grown to be. Choose whichever you think fits the context better. Jun 9, 2022 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that these phrases are highly interchangeable.

To be technical, I think "to be" generally refers to a current status. In example,

"we have grown to be great entrepreneurs"

On the other hand, "to become", may refer to a sort of transformation,

"through our entrepreneurship we have grown to become quite wealthy"

It's basically the same thing, but that example may illustrate the slight difference.

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