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 iam new here and i woul like your help, becouse i wont learn english.

Hi leitor,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! My first suggestion would be to explore the site.  Use the links at the top of the page to go to different sections and see what kinds of materials are available.  Get a feel for the level of difficulty of different sections so you can see what will be most useful to you at the moment.

Then start with something that is not too high a level. Many users find Elementary Podcasts Series Three a good place to start.  Work through the episodes, and remember that you can use the transcript to help you, or to read and listen to at the same time after you have done the exercises. As you work, it's important to keep a vocabulary notebook. Organise it by topic ('work', 'family', 'food', etc.) and add words and phrases to it as you go through the material.  Test yourself regularly to see if you remember the words.

Finally, practise English every day, even if it's only for 10 minutes. You can study the vocabulary you've recorded, listen to an Elementary Podcasts episode again, or if you have a friend who is also learning English, practise speaking with them. You can also practise by yourself, just speaking English when you are alone at home or at work.  This kind of practice is great for developing fluency in speaking, so that when you need to use English in the 'real' world you are ready and confident.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi LearnEnglish Team,

Could you explain the correct usage of "made of " something and "made from" something. (eg: bread is "made of" flour and bread is "made from" flour) Is there any difference between these two?
Awaiting your reply.
Thank you

Hi Dona S,

Normally, made of is used to describe the material used to make something. For example, we can say that a house is made of wood or stone (or whatever). But when the material used to make something undergoes a significant transformation, made from is normally used. For example, paper is made from trees. When speaking about how to prepare some kind of food, often with is used: bread is made with wheat flour, water, salt and yeast.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi LearnEnglish Team,

Could you please explain how to use "in holidays" and "on holidays" correctly.

Thanks

Hello Dona,

As far as I know, in is not used with "holiday(s)". You can go or be on holiday, go home for the holidays or work over or during the holidays, but I can't think of an instance when I'd say in holidays.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk. I normally use "on" with holidays, but I heard a guy say, "I work in my holidays" in a video on LearnEnglish Teens. Because of that I wanted to ask you and make sure whether "in" is used with holidays. Thank you once again.

Hello Dona.

The adjective to Holidays its only on... Ex: Im on holiday we cant use im in holidays its wrong.

i need learen english

I am teaching English language at Banmaisamukkhi school and I love it so much.

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