Be Verbs

Basic English Grammar – / Be Verbs

In English, verbs have a very important place in communication, they are the ones responsible for expressing actions. Words like jump, run, speak… all are common and clear examples of verbs that describe an action that a subject does. However, there is one verb that’s the most used in the English language: the verb to be.
A verb shows action or a state of being.
I go home. Home is my place to rest. I like the smell of my house. I feel totally relaxed. Home refreshes me. At home, I get ready for a new day.

The forms of the verb “to be”

When?

Who?

Form

Example

Base form be It can be simple.
Simple Present I am I am here.
You are You are here.
He/She/It is She is here.
We are We are here.
They are They are here.
Simple Past I was I was here.
You were You were here.
He/She/It was She was here.
We were We were here.
They were They were here.
Simple Future I will be I will be here.
You will be You will be here.
He/She/It will be She will be here.
We will be We will be here.
They will be They will be here.
Progressive form being He is being unusual.
Perfect from been It has been fun.

 
“Be” verbs indicate a state of being.
Verbs must match subjects.

  • I am a doctor.
  • He is sleepy.
  • We are here.

Negative sentences need ‘not’ after the verb.

  • I am not a doctor.
  • He is not sleepy.
  • We are not there.

The verb comes first in interrogative sentences.

  • Am I a doctor?
  • Is he sleepy?
  • Are we there?

“Are not” (is not) can be shortened to “aren’t” (isn’t).

  • He isn’t sleepy.
  • We aren’t there.

Remember the variations of “be” verbs:

Present

Negative

Interrogative

I am I am not Am I?
You are You are not (aren’t) Are you?
He is He is not (isn’t) Is he?
She is She is not (isn’t) Is she?
It is It is not (isn’t) Isn’t it?
We are We are not (aren’t) Are we?
You are You are not (aren’t) Are you?
They are They are not (aren’t) Are they?

[Quiz 5.1] Be Verbs

Which of the following sentences are written correctly?
1)I am thirsty.
2)You are kind.
3)He am not sad.
4)She are not tall.
5)It is not moving.
6)We aren’t tired.
7)Is they running?
8)Are you ready?
View Answers

1, 2, 5, 6, and 8