Home Grammar Beginner To be

To be

Introduction

We use the verb "to be" with
For example:

Present Past
I am tired. / I'm tired. I was tired.
She is a doctor. / She's a doctor. She was a doctor.
They are students. / They're students. They were students.
I am here. I was here.
We are at the hospital. We were at the hospital.

Part 1 - "be" (positive)

We use:
"am", "is", "are" / "'m", "'s", "'re"
or "was" / "were".


For example - present:

I am

(I'm)
happy.
She / He / It is

(She's / He's / It's)
You
We
They
are

(You're
We're
They're)
I am

(I'm)
an engineer.
She / He / It is

(She's / He's / It's)
You are

(You're
We're
They're)
an engineer.
engineers.
We
They
engineers.

For example - past:

I
She / He / It
was happy.
You
We
They
were
I
She / He / It
was an engineer.
You were an engineer.
engineers.
We
They
engineers.

Practice

Complete the sentences with the correct positive form of the verb "be".


Present
  • I hungry.
     
  • My sister and I singers.
     
  • My dog very young.
     

Past
  • It a dangerous mountain.
     
  • They late for work.
     
  • The house very old.
     

Part 2 - "be" (negative)

To make a negative sentence use
"am not", "is not", "are not" / "'m not", "isn't", "aren't"
or "wasn't" / "weren't".



For example - present:

I am not
'm not
happy.
She / He / It is not
isn't
You
We
They
are not
aren't

I am not
'm not
an engineer.
She / He / It is not
isn't
You are not
aren't
an engineer.
engineers.
We
They
are not
aren't
engineers.

For example - past:

I
She / He / It
was not
wasn't
happy.
You
We
They
were not
weren't

I
She / He / It
was not
wasn't
an engineer.
You were not
weren't
an engineer.
engineers.
We
They
engineers.

Practice

Complete the sentences with the correct negative form of the verb "be".


Present
  • Polly an actress.
     
  • David and Jim fat.
     
  • I a good swimmer.
     

Past
  • The weather good yesterday.
     
  • My parents poor.
     
  • We at the cinema last night.
     

Part 3 - "be" (questions)

To make questions we put
"am", "is", "are" or "was", "were" before the subject.


For example - present:

Am I happy?
Is she / he / it
Are you
we
they

Am I an engineer?
Is she / he / it
Are you an engineer?
engineers?
we
they
engineers?

For example - past:

Was I
she / he / it
happy?
Were you
we
they

Was I
she / he / it
an engineer?
Were you an engineer?
engineers?
we
they
engineers?

Practice

Complete the questions with the correct form of the verb "be".


Present
  • Pierre French?
     
  • the books on the shelf?
     
  • I late?
     

Past
  • your parents at home?
     
  • he a fireman.
     
  • I right?
     

Further practice

Choose the correct answer to complete the sentence: a, b, c or d.

Check my answers

Further reading

The verb "be" is also an auxiliary (helping) verb and is used to make continuous tenses:
Please see separate worksheets for an explanation of these tenses.

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