3 To be Affirmative

Introduction

To be is an auxiliary verb and it is essential in grammar.

When expressed in its affirmative form, the verb confirms something about the subject.

Form

To be is an irregular verb and, in the affirmative form, it has this structure:
Subject + to be + …

Subject To Be Short Form*
I am I’m
You are You’re
He is He’s
She is She’s
It is It’s
We are We’re
You are You’re
They are They’re

*The short form is used in spoken language or in informal writing.

Example

To be is used with:

  1. Nouns
    • I am a student.
    • He is a lawyer.
    • We are doctors.
  2.  Adjectives
    • I am tall.
    • He is polite.
    • Many people are happy.
  3.  Prepositional phrases (or complements)
    • My book is on the bed.
    • Harry Potter is on the TV.
    • The eggs are in the box.

To be can also be used in short forms:

  • I’m 12 years old.
  • This coat‘s $100.
  • They‘re my best friends.

Use

To be has a very basic structure and when it is used as a linking word between other classes of words (subjects, nouns, adjectives, complements…), it gives us more details about the condition of the subject.

To be is used with:

  1. Nouns;
  2. Adjectives;
  3. Prepositional phrases (or complements).

To be, in its affirmative form, confirms characteristics of the subject, for example: age, behaviour, colour, jobs, nationality, personality, place, price, qualities, size, time…

Summary

To be is one of the most commonly used auxiliary verbs. To be is often used with nouns, adjectives and prepositional phrases. In its affirmative form, it confirms characteristics of the subject.

The structure is:
Subject + to be + …

Affirmative form: (I) am, (you) are, (he/she/it) is, (we/you/they) are.

For example:
— “I am tall.” = We use am for the first person singular.
— “He is tall.” = We use is for the third person singular.
— “They are tall.” = We use are for plurals.

When the subject is a name or noun instead of a pronoun, we use the short form only with the third person singular.

For example:
— “John is tall.” / “Johns tall.”
— “The members are tall.” / “The members‘re tall.

NOTE: We use the short form in spoken language or informal writing.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context sentence.

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