To be is the most common verbs in the English language. The verb to be is an irregular verb, in fact the most irregular verb in the English language. To be changes depending on how to be agrees with the subject. It will change depending on whether it is used for the first, second, or third person. It will also change whether it is used for the past, present or future. It will also change whether it is used for singular nouns or plural nouns. The to be verb takes the forms of;
The “to be” verb is used to create the continuous and the perfect continuous forms.
It is also used to create a passive voice;
|Present Tense||Past Tense||Perfect Form (past participle)||Progressive Form (present participle)|
|I||am||was||have been||I am being|
|You/we/they||are||were||Were been||Are being|
|He/She/It||is||was||Was been||Is being|
|Singular Noun||Is||Was||Was been||Is being|
|Plural nouns||Are||Were||Were been||Are being|
Knowing that the verb “to be” changes in accordance to the subject and tense, it important to know the verb “to be” functions in various ways;
As a main verb “to be” is often used in brief short sentences;
The verb “to have” is used as an auxiliary verb to help other verbs create the tenses or an auxiliary to a gerund or participle.
“To be” can also acts as a linking verb. It joins the subject with an adjective or a phrasal noun that renames or defines the subject. As a linking verb, to be does not create an action.