The verb be is used as an auxiliary verb and it can also be used as a main verb. See Types of main verb.The verb be is irregular. It has eight different forms: be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been. The present simple and past simple tenses make more changes than those of other verbs.
Be - Easy Learning Grammar
|I am late.||We are late.|
|You are late.||You are late.|
|He is late.||They are late.|
|I was late.||We were late.|
|You were late.||You were late.|
|She was late.||They were late.|
- He is being very helpful these days.
- We have been ready for an hour.
- The present simple tense forms of be are often contracted in normal speech. Note that the contracted form of they are is spelled they’re, and not their which is the possessive form of they.
|I’m here.||We’re here.|
|You’re here.||You’re here.|
|He’s here.||They’re here.|
|emphasizes the negative|
|I’m not late.|
|You aren’t late.||You’re not late.|
|He isn’t late.||He’s not late.|
|We aren’t late.||We’re not late.|
|They aren’t late.||They’re not late.|
|I wasn’t late.|
|You weren’t late.|
|He wasn’t late.|
|We weren’t late.|
|They weren’t late.|
- Continuous tenses of main verbs use the appropriate form of be, present or past, followed by the present participle (or -ing form). See The present continuous tense and Form of adverbs and The present perfect continuous tense.
- The passive form of a main verb uses the appropriate form of be followed by the past participle. See Active and passive.
- Feelings and states. For this we use the simple tenses of the verb with a suitable adjective. See Tense and Aspect.
- I am delighted with the news but he is not happy.
- She was busy so she was not able to see me.
- People’s behaviour. For this we use the continuous tenses of the verb with a suitable adjective. See The past simple tense.
- I am not being slow, I am being careful.
- You were being very rude to your mum when I came downstairs.
- Be + the to infinitive is sometimes used to refer to future time. This is a rather formal use, which often appears in news reports. See The to infinitive and The to infinitive and the -ing form.
- The Prime Minister is to visit Hungary in October.
- The Archbishop is to have talks with the Pope next month.
- It + be: we use it as a subject when we are talking about time, distance, weather, or cost. In this use, be is always singular.
- Hurry up, it’s eight thirty!
- Is it? I didn’t know it was so late.
- It’s thirty miles to Glasgow.
- Come and visit us. It’s not very far.
- It’s cold today but it isn’t wet.
- It’s very expensive to live in London.
- There + is/are is used to talk about something existing. In this use, the form that be takes may be singular or plural, depending on the number of the noun, and be is sometimes contracted.
- There’s a spare toothbrush in the cupboard.
- There was a cold wind blowing.
- There isn’t enough petrol for the journey.
- There are several petrol stations on the way, aren’t there?
- You are being so annoying!
- I know I am being silly, but I am frightened.
- Are you better now?
- Is he free this morning?
- Was he cooking dinner when you arrived?