Verb to be
- Exercises with answers
- PDF worksheets
- Examples and grammar rules
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Verb to be exercises
Exercises with answers and PDF worksheets on the present simple and past simple forms of the verb to be.
Present simple Verb to be Exercise Online practice on affirmative, negative and question forms.
Present simple Verb to be PDF exercise Complete short dialogues.
Past simple Verb to be PDF exercise 1 Complete sentences.
Past simple Verb to be PDF exercise 2 Complete a dialogue.
Forms of the verb to be
I am twenty-two years old.
My brother is as old as me.
We are twins.
I was born thirty minutes sooner than him.
We were born in Valencia.
We have always been the best friends.
I hope it will remain like this for ever.
The verb to be is mostly used in the simple form. In some special cases, however, it can be used in the continuous form.
We use the continuous forms in the passive voice.
The house is being built now.
The cars were being washed when I was there.
We use the continuous forms with some adjectives.
You are being foolish.
Terry is being noisy.
You can find all the forms of the verb to be with examples from everyday English on the following pages.
- Learn how to make positive statements, negative sentences and questions.
- Look at the examples of positive, negative and question forms.
- Read about all other forms of the verb to be.
Use of the verb to be
The verb to be can be used either as a linking verb (also called a main verb) or as an auxiliary verb (a helping verb). You can study the difference between them below.
Linking verb to be
The verb to be as a linking verb connects the subject of a sentence with further information about the subject.
My boyfriend is extremely intelligent.
Dan has been in the United States for a year now.
The linking verb to be is often used to describe a physical or mental condition.
I am really pleased with your decision.
He was very unhappy about his mistake.
Read more: Linking verb to be
Auxiliary verb to be (helping verb)
The auxiliary verb to be combines with main verbs (come, wait, drive, etc.) to help them express some meaning.
1. The verb to be is used to form continuous tenses and the passive voice.
I am going on holiday to Poland next week.
The snow and ice were removed from the road early in the morning.
2. Be + infinitive is used in orders or instructions and to talk about plans.
No one is to leave this room.
Dan and Julie are to move to their new house soon.
3. Be about + infinitive expresses the immediate future.
Sarah is still at home but she is about to leave.
4. Was/were + infinitive is used if we want to say that something was certain and inevitable.
There were heavy rains in the north of the country. But nobody knew that their towns and villages were to be flooded soon.
Read more: Helping verb to be
Verb to be in question tags
In question tags, the verb to be is only used in the present simple and continuous and past simple and continuous.
Paul is working on a new project, isn't he?
I am your best friend, aren't I?
You are not disappointed, are you?
Your sister was surprised, wasn't she?
You weren't watching TV at 7 o'clock, were you?
Verb to be in short answers
In short answers (like in the question tags), the verb to be is only used in the present tenses and past tenses. Don't forget to use it in the short answers, otherwise your answer might sound impolite.
Is Paul working on a new project? - No, he isn't.
Am I your best friend? - Yes, you are.
Was your sister surprised? - No, she wasn't.
Were you watching TV at 7 o'clock? - Yes, I was.