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The Verb "To be"


To be is the most common verb in the English language, but it doesn't always look like "be", it changes - a lot.

Singular = 1 Plural = 1+
I am You are
You are We are
He/she/it is They are

Uses

To be can be used as an auxiliary or a main verb.

Am/Is/Are

Question ?
Positive Statement +
Negative Statement -
 
Singular
Written Form or spoken for emphasis
Contracted
Form (spoken)
Written Form or spoken for emphasis
Contracted
Form (spoken)
 
Plural

Examples

The verbs am / is / are are used with:-

Am/Are Is
a noun group Are you an English teacher? Mr Bean is an English teacher.
an adjective I'm tired. She's English.
an expression of place or time They're at home. It's nine o'clock.
an expression of age I'm 44. He's two years old.
when forming the present continuous tense We're learning English. She's teaching English.

 

Am/Are Is
Question - ? "Am I disturbing you?" "Is this your coat?"
Positive Answer + Yes "Yes you are. We're very busy." "Yes, it is"
Negative Answer - No "No you're not. We aren't very busy." "No, it isn't"

The Learn English Grammar Page - Verbs
Want to know more about the use of verbs? Read our recommended grammar books section.

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