To Be

1 Here are some examples of be in the Present Simple:

This is my brother. He’s ten years old.

I’m a student. These are my books.

They aren’t at home. They’re at the theatre.

2 We form the Present Simple of be like this:

positive

FULL FORM SHORT FORM

Singular

I am / I’m

you are / you’re

he/she/it is he’s/she’s/it ’s

Plural

we are / we’re

you are / you’re

they are / they’re

 negative

FULL FORM SHORT FORM

Singular

I am not / I’m not

you are not / you aren’t

he/she/it is not he/she/it isn’t

Plural

we are not / we aren’t

you are not / you aren’t

they are not / they aren’t

3 In speech, we usually use the short forms:

She’s my sister. He’s my brother.

I’m from Italy. They’re German.

4 We use be:

– to say who we are:

I’m Steve and this is my friend Bill.We’re from Scotland.

I’m Janet and these are my sisters. This is Sandra and this is Patricia. Sandra and Patricia are doctors.

– to talk about the weather:

It’s cold today.

It’s a beautiful day.

It’s usually hot here

It isn’t very warm today.

– to talk about the time:

It’s ten o’clock.

It’s half past four.

You’re late!

– to talk about places:

Milan is in the north of Italy.

John and Mary are in Yorkshire.

– to talk about people’s ages:

My sister is six years old.

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