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The Simple present of the verb to be


The simple present of the verb to be

This page will present the simple present of the verb to be:

  • its form
  • and its use

The verb to be

The verb to be is the most important verb in the English language.  It is difficult to use because it is an irregular verb in almost all of its forms.  In the simple present tense, to be is conjugated as follows:

Affirmative forms of the verb to be

Subject Pronouns Full Form Contracted Form
I am 'm
you are 're
he/she/it is 's
we are 're
you are 're
they are 're

Interrogative forms of the verb to be:

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

Negative Forms of the verb to be:

Subject Pronouns Full Form Contracted Form
I am not 'm not
you are not aren't
he/she/it is not isn't
we are not aren't
you are not aren't
they are not aren't

Examples:

  • Is Brad Pitt French?
  • No, he isn't. He's American.
  • What about Angelina Joli? Is she American, too?
  • Yes, she is. She is American.
  • Are brad Pitt and Angelina Joli French?
  • No, They aren't. They are American.

Remember:

  • I, you, he, she, it, you, they are subject pronouns (also called subject pronouns.)
  • am, are, is are forms of the verb to be in the simple present.
  • 'm, 're, 's are short (contracted) forms of  am, are, is
  • 'm not, aren't, isn't are short (contracted forms) of am not, are not, is not
  • Use the simple present tense to indicate:
    1. Routine actions, habits
    2. Facts

Learn more about the use of the simple present of other verbs
Exercise on the simple present of the verb to be

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