Verb to be
- Exercises with answers
- PDF worksheets
- Examples and grammar rules
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Verb to be, exercises + PDF worksheets
For beginners and elementary levels.
Verb to be - present simple (am, are, is) Exercises with answers, examples and grammar rules.
Verb to be - past simple (was, were) Exercises with answers, examples and grammar rules.
- Learn and practise positive, negative and question forms.
- Learn how to use the verb to be in all English tenses.
Verb to be
The verb to be is mostly used in the simple form. In some special cases, however, it can be used in the continuous form.
Examples of simple forms:
I am twenty-two years old.
You aren't twins.
I was born on 30 June.
You weren't very polite.
She'll be really happy.
We have been to Spain twice.
They had been there before that.
I'll have been reday by the end of this month.
Examples of continuous forms:
We can use the continuous forms in the present simple passive and past simple passive.
The house is being built now.
The cars were being washed when I was there.
We use the continuous forms with some adjectives to express the idea that something or someone is annoying.
You are being foolish.
Terry is being noisy.
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).
Linking verb to be
The verb to be as a linking verb 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.
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.
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.