Hello, dear student!
Today I'd like to give consideration to very interesting verbs, which you should know and not confuse because they are so similar and sometimes pronounced almost in the same manner. Let's analyze them with examples and explanations.
Быть [byt'] to be - is, probably, one of the most important verbs, which denotes that someone or something exists or is situated somewhere.
Здесь раньше была красивая аллея [Sdes' ran'she byla krasivaya aleya] - There was a beautiful lane before
Побывать [Pabyvat'] to visit - this verb shows us the intention to go to some place, where a person hasn't been before, hasn't seen, hasn't experienced communication with people and culture, for example:
Моя мечта - побывать во всех странах мира! [Maya michta - pabyvat' va fsekh stranakh mira!] - My dream is to visit all countries over the globe.
Регина побывала в Москве и в сентябре вернулась на родину [Rigina pabyvala f Maskve i f sintibre vernulas' na rodinu] - Regina has visited Moscow and returned back to her place in September.
Побыть [pabyt'] to stay somewhere or with someone - this verb shows that you are going to go somewhere but not forever, it implies that you'll come back. Or, for example, we often use it, to stay alone:
Я хочу побыть один, не заходи в комнату, пожалуйста! [Ya khachu pabyt' adin, ni zakhadi f komnatu, pazhalusta!] - Leave me alone and don't enter the room, I'd like to stay alone (for some time)
Побить [pabit'] to beat - I've decided to include this verb into the group because students often confuse it with the verb "побыть," due to incorrect usage of only 1 letter, there can be misunderstanding or a mistake. Be very careful, when you pronounce the verb "побить", there is the letter "и" after "б". This verb denotes that a person wants to, for example, punish someone or teach a good lesson and inflict bodily harm:
Если ты не прекратишь меня дразнить, то я могу тебя побить! [Esli ty ni prikratish minya draznit', to ya magu tibya pabit'!] - If you don't stop teasing me, I can beat you!
Бывать [Byvat'] - to visit/occur
This verb shows the repeated action, when, for example, a person visits any places on a regular basis or not so regular but he is a guest there, for example:
Я часто бываю в этой гостинице [Ya chasta byvayu v ekhtaj gastinitse] - I often visit this hotel