Look at these examples to see how we use to be in the present simple.
I'm a student.
My mum's a doctor.
They aren't very busy.
Is he a teacher?
Try this exercise to test your grammar.
- Grammar test 1
We can use the present simple of the verb to be to talk about situations and states in the present.
|I am||I am not||Am I?|
|You/we/they are||You/we/they are not||Are you/we/they?|
|He/she/it is||He/she/it is not||Is he/she/it?|
We can contract the verb, especially when we're speaking.
I am a shop assistant. = I'm a shop assistant.
You are a good friend! = You're a good friend!
He is my wife's brother. = He's my wife's brother.
We are very busy at the moment. = We're very busy at the moment.
They are on holiday in Italy. = They're on holiday in Italy.
For negatives, use not after the verb. We can contract the verb or not.
I am not at work. = I'm not at work. Note: I amn't is not possible.
She is not a student. = She's not a student. = She isn't a student.
Money is not important. = Money's not important. = Money isn't important.
We are not hungry. = We're not hungry. = We aren't hungry.
They are not at home. = They're not at home. = They aren't at home.
For questions, change the order of am, is or are and the person.
Are you tired?
Is she Mexican?
Is this your phone?
Are we late?
Are they your children?
|Affirmative||Negative||(Verb contracted)||(not contracted)|
|Yes, I am.||No, I am not.||No, I'm not.|
|Yes, you are.||No, you are not.||No, you're not.||No, you aren't.|
Yes, we are.
|No, we are not.||No, we're not.||No, we aren't.|
|Yes, they are.||No, they are not.||No, they're not.||No, they aren't.|
|Yes, he is.||No, he is not.||No, he's not.||No, he isn't.|
|Yes, she is.||No, she is not.||No, she's not.||No, she isn't.|
|Yes, it is.||No, it is not.||No, it's not.||No, it isn't.|
Note that with short answers, we only use contractions with no answers.
Questions with question words
We can also make questions by using a question word like where, when, who or what. We put the question word at the beginning.
Where are you from? I'm from Brazil.
When is the meeting? It's next Tuesday.
Who's she? She's my sister.
What time is it? It's six o'clock.
Do this exercise to test your grammar again.
- Grammar test 2