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Simple Present Tense With ‘TO BE’

When building a sentence in English, a verb is always required. The verb “be” is the most important verb to learn in English. ‘’TO BE’’ is used to describe objects, features, locations, etc.

The verb ‘’ TO BE ‘’has three forms in the present; am, is and are;




Subject  To Be Examples
I am  I am fine
You are  You are  a student
He is He is a child
She is She is an angry girl
It is It is a beautiful flower
We are We are brothers
You are You are from England
They are They are at school




 

Using the verb ‘to be’ in the simple present tense;

POSITIVE ( AFFIRMATIVE ) FORM (+) :  Subject + TO BE ( am  / is / are ) + …

NEGATIVE FORM (-) : Subject + TO BE ( am  / is / are) + NOT + …

QUESTION FORM (?) : TO BE ( am  / is / are) + Subject + …

NEGATIVE QUESTION FORM (?) : TO BE ( am  / is / are) + NOT + Subject + …

SHORT ANSWER FORMS : ( + / – ) : YES / NO + Subject + TO BE ( am  / is / are) or TO BE ( am  / is / are) + NOT

 

POSITIVE SENTENCES AND CONTRACTIONS WITH TO BE

SUBJECT TO BE POSITIVE (+) POSITIVE CONTRACTIONS
I am I am ready I’m ready
You are You are ready.  You’re ready.
He is He is ready.  He’s ready.
She is She is ready.  She’s ready.
It is It is ready.  It’s ready.
We are We are ready.  We’re ready
You are You are ready. You're ready.
They are  They are ready. They're ready.

Note: ”  ‘m, ‘s, ‘re ”  are short (contracted) forms of  ‘’am, is, are’’

Examples:

  • I am a secretary. / I’m a secretary.
  • She is clever. / She’s clever.
  • We are businessmen. / We’re businessmen.
  • They are in the park. / They’re in the park.
  • It is on the table. / It’s on the table.

 

NEGATIVE SENTENCES AND CONTRACTIONS WITH TO BE

SUBJECT TO BE NEGATIVE(+)
I am not I am not ready
You are not You are not ready.
He is not He is not ready.
She is not She is not ready.
It is not It is not ready.
We are not We are not ready.
You are not You are not ready.
They are not  They are not ready.
NEGATIVE CONTRACTIONS (SUBJECT + TO BE) NEGATIVE CONTRACTIONS ( TO BE + NOT )
I am ( I’m ) not ready. I am not ( am not ) ready.
You are ( You’re ) not ready. You are not (aren’t ) ready.
He is / He’s not ready. He isn’t ready.
She is / She’s not ready. She isn’t ready.
It is / It’s not ready. It isn’t ready.
We are / We’re not ready. You aren’t ready.
You are / You’re not ready. We aren’t ready.
They are / They’re not ready. They aren’t ready.

 

Notes:

1. To make the positive ( affirmative ) sentences negative, put ‘ not’ after the verbs.

Examples:

  • I am not intelligent.
  • She is not a doctor.
  • We are not married.

2. Sentences made by ‘ am/ is /are ‘ as auxiliary verbs have two negative contractions;

a. First contraction is made with subject and the verb.

Examples:

  • I am ( I’m ) not a pilot.
  • You are ( You’re ) not children.
  • He is ( He’s) not a fireman.

b. Second contraction is made with the verb and ‘not’.

Examples:

  • She is not (isn’t) a beautiful woman.
  • We are not ( aren’t ) at home.
  • They are not (aren’t ) from Canada.

3. As you can see from the chart, we can not make contraction with the verb ‘am’ and not

Examples:

  • I am not a teacher.

We can not make a contraction like this ‘am +not = amn’t’ instead of this, we use first contraction made with subject and verb ‘ I + am = I’am) namely,

  • I am not a teacher = I’m not a teacher
  • I am not happy. / I’m not happy.
  • I am not in the garden. / I’m not in the garden.

 

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE QUESTIONS  WITH TO BE

POSITIVE QUESTION (?) NEGATIVE QUESTION (?)
Am I ready? Am I not ready?
Are you ready? Aren’t you ready?
Is he ready? Isn’t he ready?
Is she ready? Isn’t she ready?
Is it ready? Isn’t it ready?
Are we ready? Aren’t we ready?
Are you ready? Aren’t you ready?
Are they ready? Aren’t they ready?

 

Note:

To make question sentences from positive or negative sentences, put verb or ‘verb + not‘ before the subject. If you want to make negative questions, you can use the contractions.

Examples:

  • Am I crazy?
  • Is she a doctor?
  • Are you from Spain?
  • Are they marry?
  • Isn’t it on the desk?
  • Aren’t you friends?

Exception to the rule:

If you want to build a negative question using the verb ‘ am ‘, put the verb first, and then subject and ‘not’.

AM + SUBJECT PRONOUNS + NOT + …

Examples:

  • Am I not sick?
  • Am I not tired?
  • Am I not ready?

 

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SHORT ANSWERS WITH TO BE

POSITIVE SHORT ANSWER NEGATIVE SHORT ANSWER
Yes, I am No, I’m not
Yes, you are No, you aren’t
Yes, he is No, he isn’t
Yes, she is No, she isn’t
Yes, it is No, it isn’t
Yes, we are No, we aren’t
Yes, you are No, you aren’t
Yes, they are No, they aren’t

Examples:

  • Are you sure? – Yes, I am or No, I am not
  • Is he late? – yes, he is late or No, he is not late
  • Aren’t they good at math? Yes, they are or No, they aren’t
  • Aren’t you sick? Yes, I am— No, I am not
  • Is it a cat ?  yes, it is — no it isn’t
  • Is she ill? Yes she il lor No she isn’t

Notes:

1. We don’t use contractions in positive short answers 

Examples:

  • Yes, I am (  we do not use I’m)
  • Yes,you are ( we do not use you’re)
  • Yes, he is ( we do not use he’s)

2. Do not forget to pay attention to use of some subject pronouns ( such as I, You ) while answering questions.

Examples:

  • Am I sick?
  • Yes, you are / No you aren’t
  • Are you at home?
  • Yes, I am / No,  I am not

3. We can also use a question word (Who, What, Why etc.) with to be in present tense.

Question Words (who, what, why, etc.) + TO BE ( am/is/are ) + subject + …

Examples:

  • Why are you late every day?
  • Who is she?
  • Where are they from?

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