Unit 1.1

To be Interrogative

Verbs

To be is a linking verb and an auxiliary verb that is essential in grammar.

When expressed in its interrogative form, the verb is used to ask something about the subject.

To be is an irregular verb and, in the interrogative form (possible because of inversion), it has this structure:
To be + subject + …?

To BeSubjectQuestion Mark
AmI?
Areyou?
Ishe?
Isshe?
Isit?
Arewe?
Areyou?
Arethey?

*Short forms do not exist for the interrogative form.

We use to be as a linking verb between other classes of words, 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 is used with:

  1.  Nouns
    • Am I a student?
    • Is he a lawyer?
    • Are we doctors?
  2.  Adjectives
    • Am I tall?
    • Is he polite?
    • Are many people happy?
  3.  Prepositional phrases (or complements)
    • Is my book on the bed?
    • Is Harry Potter on the TV?
    • Are the eggs in the box?

To be, in its interrogative form, is used to ask for the characteristics of the subject, for example: age, behaviour, colour, jobs, nationality, personality, place, price, qualities, size, time…)

To be is one of the most commonly used auxiliary verbs. To be is often used with nouns, adjectives and prepositional phrases.

In its interrogative form, it asks for the characteristics of the subject and is placed before it (the sentence ends with a question mark).

The forms are: Am I…?, Are you…?, Is he…?, Is she…?, Is it…?, Are we…?, Are you…? and Are they…?.

For example:
— “Am I tall?” = We use Am I for the first person singular.
— “Is he tall?” = We use Is he for the third person singular.
— “Are they tall?” = We use Are they for the third personplurals.

NOTE: Short forms don’t exist for the interrogative form (Is he tall? / ‘s he tall?).

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

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