Verb TO BE

The verb to be the is most irregular verb in English but also the most frequent.

 

Remember:

The verb to be has a variety of uses and forms in the English language. Make sure you are using the correct form and positioning it correctly in the sentence according to the grammar rules and the different uses that can be made of it.

A little bit on TO BE uses

The verb to be is a key verb in English and it plays a major part in many types of constructions. It has many usages and meanings, both as a main verb and as an auxiliary verb. It also acts differently in negative sentences and questions.

As a main verb in a sentence, to be is a stative verb serving as a copula (a verb linking the subject with its complement). As every sentence in English must have a verb, to be is used in many cases where there is no action described in the sentence. On the contrary, as an auxiliary verb, to be is used to create progressive verb forms and passive constructions.

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Although my friends got confused with a couple of constructions, there is a lot more about the verb to be you need to know. Check the Grammar spot.

More information:

  • Castillo Rodríguez, C. & López Pérez, S. (2019) To Be or not to Be...? Analysis of Misuses with Be in a Learner Corpus in an Online Environment. Revista de Filología, 39,153-170. https://doi.org/10.25145/j.refiull.2019.39.06

  • Swan, M. & Walter, C. (2011a). Oxford English Grammar Course. Advanced. Oxford University Press.

  • Swan, M. & Walter, C. (2011b). Oxford English Grammar Course. Basic.  Oxford University Press.

  • Swan, M. & Walter, C. (2011c). Oxford English Grammar Course. Intermediate. Oxford University Press.