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Unit 1.1

To Be – Interrogative


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

The interrogative form is used to ask questions.

To be is an irregular verb and the interrogative form (made possible thanks to “inversion”) has this structure:
To be + subject + …?

Am I …?
Are you …?
Is he …?
Is she …?
Is it …?
Are we …?
Are you …?
Are they …?

Short forms do not exist for the interrogative form.

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
    • Is my book on the bed?
    • Is there a good movie on TV?
    • Are there eggs in the box?

To be is used to talk about:

  1. Age
    • Am I 12 years old?
    • Is he 35 years old?
    • Are we 35?
  2.  Price
    • Is this coat $100?
    • Is this dress $50?
    • Are the books $80 in total?
  3.  Size
    • Is a standard double bed 5 feet wide?
    • Is the dress medium?
    • Are the blue shoes size 38?
  4. Shape
    • Is the table square?
    • Is the building rectangle-shaped?
    • Is the tower oval-shaped?
  5.  Colour
    • Is my hair brown?
    • Are his eyes green?
    • Is our room pink?
  6. Nationality
    • Am I from Greece?
    • Is he Italian?
    • Are they French?

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

To be is used with:

  1. Nouns;
  2. Adjectives;
  3. Prepositional phrases.

To be is used to talk about the characteristics of the subject, for example:

  1. Age;
  2. Price;
  3. Size;
  4. Shape;
  5. Colour;
  6. Nationality.

The verb to be is one of the most commonly used auxiliary verbs. When used in its interrogative form, we can use it to form questions. To be is often used with nouns, adjectives and prepositional phrases.

The verb to be in its interrogative form has this structure:
To be + subject + …?

For example:
— “Are you an actress?”
— “Is he tall?”
— “Are they from UK?”

The verb to be asks information about a characteristic of the subject.

NOTE: The short forms don’t exist for the interrogative form (Is Toni English? / ‘s Toni English?).

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


To Be - Interrogative Copyright © 2016 by My Language Skills. All Rights Reserved.