Level: beginner

The verb be has the following forms:

The verb be
Infinitive form be
Present simple: + I am, I'm
You are, You're
He/She/It is, He/She/It's
We are, we're
You are, you're
They are, they're
? Am I?
Are you?
Is he/she it?
Are we?
Are you?
Are they?
- I am not, I’m not
You are not, You aren’t, You're not
He/She/It is not, He/She/It isn’t, He's not
We are not, We aren’t, We're not
You are not, You aren’t, You're not
They are not, They aren't, They're not

 
Past simple + I was
You were
He/She/It was
We were
You were
They were
? Was I?
Were you?
Was he/she/it?
Were we?
Were you?
Were they?
- I was not, I wasn't
You were not, You weren't
He/She/It was not, He/She/It wasn't
We were not, We weren't
You were not, You weren't
They were not, They weren't
Past participle been
Present perfect has/have been
Past perfect had been
Present participle being
Present continuous am/is/are being
Past continuous was/were being

We use the infinitive form be with modal verbs:

It will be dark soon.
They might be tired.

The verb be is a link verb. It is used:

My mother is a teacher.
Bill Clinton was the president of the US.

This soup is very tasty.
The children were good.

  • with a prepositional phrase:

John and his wife are from Manchester.
The flowers are on the table.

am, is, are 1
ex. am, is, are 1
am, is, are 2
ex. am, is, are 2
am, is, are, was, were 1
ex. am, is, are, was, were 1
am, is, are, was, were 2
ex. am, is, are, was, were 2

Level: intermediate

We were walking down the street. Everything was wet.
It had been raining for hours.

The house was built in 1890.
The street is called Montague Street.
This car was made in Japan.

be in continuous and passive forms 1
ex. be in continuous and passive forms 1
be in continuous and passive forms 2
ex. be in continuous and passive forms 2

Level: advanced

We use some nouns with the verb be followed by a that clause:

The problem was that I had no money.
The obvious explanation is that he simply forgot.
The danger is that the whole thing might catch fire.
It's a pity that the children aren't here.
The lucky thing is that nobody was hurt.

Nouns commonly used in this way are:

answer
argument
assertion
belief
claim
explanation
feeling

hope
idea
(a) pity
rule
(a) shame
thing

 

We use some nouns with the verb be followed by a to-infinitive:

The only way is to start all over again.
His answer is to work a bit harder.
Her only hope was to find a new job as soon as possible.
The easiest thing would be to ask your father.

Nouns commonly used in this way are:

answer
decision
hope
idea
intention
promise
thing
way
wish

 

To comment on statements, we use some adjectives with it and the verb be and a that clause or wh-clause:

It's lucky that we met.
It's not clear what happened.
It was amazing how he managed to escape.

Adjectives commonly used in this way are:

awful
bad
clear
extraordinary
funny
good
interesting
lucky
obvious
possible
probable
sad
true
unlikely
be with nouns and adjectives 1
ex. be with nouns and adjectives 1
be with nouns and adjectives 2
ex. be with nouns and adjectives 2

Comments

Hi Dona S,

I can't think of an instance when I'd use 'value of you' – 'your value' is what I'd say. If you've seen the former used somewhere, please give the context and we'll try to explain it.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

tx Kirk

Hi English Team

Please look at the two sentences below;

1. I had too much coffee.

2. I had too much "of " coffee.

What´s the correct sentence or are they both correct? Please explain to me how to use "of " in these kind of sentences correctly.

Thanks n regards,

Hi Dona,

in my opinion, the first sentence is correct

Hello Dona S,

1 is correct and 2 is not correct. You might want to listen to section 7 of Elementary Podcasts Series 2 Episode 3, in which Tom the Teacher explains 'too' and 'very' a bit, but in general, 'too much' is used with uncount nouns and 'too much of' only with singular count nouns, e.g. 'I had too much of the birthday cake'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much Kirk.

please explain about to have verb...

Hello mahbub160,

I'm afraid this is too general a question for us. Please search the site a bit more (see our Search box on the right) and then if you have a more specific question, you're welcome to ask it.

Best wishes,
KIrk
The LearnEnglish Team

What does the usage of 'be' mean? Why is 'be' here?
Peace be on you.
Glorified and exalted be He (God) above all that they associate with Him.

Hello there,

This's been a hard work for them.
It's been a long day.

Could you please tell me 's' is 'has' or 'is' there?

Thank you.

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