A sentence may either have a main verb, a helping verb or both. In the first sentence, the participle “welcomed” (in this passive construction) emphasizes the action of welcoming: the smiles, the hearty greetings, the slaps on the back. Note that the relative pronoun frequently disappears as well when we revise these sentences. . When “To be” verbs are combined with modal forms in this manner, the construction is called a phrasal modal. See more. The be verbs are followed by a noun or an adjective or an adverb. The Greek sea god, Proteus, was (like the sea) capable of changing form in an instant. In very formal text, you might write “am I not” instead. We create simple yes/no questions by inverting the order of subject and the “To be” verb. *Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln. English verb conjugation to mean to the masculine. In other words, a verb is a word that informs about an action, an existence of something or an occurrence. The verb is the main word in a sentence. The verb to be is the fundamental verb used to indicate the existence of an entity (person, object, abstraction) or to relate an entity to its qualities or characteristics. linking verb used for giving information about someone or something, by giving their name, job, position etc, describing them, or saying where they are Calvin Schultz is our Marketing Director . English is spoken around the world. Verbs are the hearts of English sentences. He wants to be an actor when he leaves school . Progressive forms include a form of “To be” plus a present participle (an -ing ending). In a way, the “To be” verb doesn't do much for you — it just sits there — and text that is too heavily sprinkled with “To be” verbs can feel sodden, static. In the second sentence, the predicate adjective “welcome” describes the feeling that the jurists must have had upon being so welcomed. In technical writing, where the process is more important than who is doing the activity, we might report that “Three liters of fluid is filtered through porous glass beads.” Regardless of the verb's purpose, only the auxiliary form of “To be” changes; the participle stays the same. There were several typographical errors in this anthology. Caissons were also designed to function under water in the construction of bridges. It's cold today. Notice that adverbs of frequency normally appear after forms of the verb “To be”: Notice that the adverb still appears after “To be” verbs but before other main verbs: An adverb can be interposed between the infinitive “To be” and a participle, as in the following sentences. The “to be” is a verb used to describe something or someone. For example: Anna is eating a sandwich. They might be tired.. A form of the verb “To be” is combined with a past participle to form the passive. An expletive construction, along with its attendant “To be” verb, can often be eliminated to good effect. [ is spoken is in the Present Simple Passive]While the new airport was being built, my parents decided to move. For instance, the police might report that “The professor was assaulted in the hallways” because they do not know the perpetrator of this heinous crime. In sentences such as these, the subject usually receives the intonation stress and the voice falls off on the verb. “Ain't” is not regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech.). To be is a stative verb, meaning, it refers to the way things are—their appearance, state of being, and even their smell. Click HERE for a thorough discussion of the progressive verb forms. be to do something (formal) a) used to talk about arrangements for the future: Audrey and Jimmy are to be married in June. See the section on modals for the various kinds of information conveyed by modals (advisability, predictability, guessing, necessity, possibility, etc.). In the final analysis, it probably doesn't matter, but the distinction leads to some interesting variations. by Jan Frodesen and Janet Eyring. When we use “To be” verbs in a tag question, the basic formula follows: the verb is combined with a pronoun and sometimes with not (usually in a contracted form). Review carefully the material in our section on Subject-Verb Agreement, and notice how often the choices we make require a familiarity with these forms of the “To be” verb. Definition of OTHER (verb): treat someone as different. The modern verb to be in its entirety represents the merger of two once-distinct verbs, the "b-root" represented by be and the am/was verb, which was itself a conglomerate. In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive. If you can create a The verb “To be” is said to be the most protean of the English language, constantly changing form, sometimes without much of a discernible pattern. "To be late". In linguistics, it is sometimes known as a copula. 1997. In other languages that I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming late. See the section on modals for the various kinds of information conveyed by modals (advisability, predictability, guessing, necessity, possibility, etc. Thus “Tall” is said to be a stative (or an “inert”) quality, and we cannot say “I am being tall”; “silly,” on the other hand, is dynamic so we can use progressive verb forms in conjunction with that quality. Two plus two equals four. (We would not say, “Two plus two is equaling four.”) In the same way, nouns and pronouns can be said to exhibit willed and unwilled characteristics. The following circumlocutory uses of "be" verbs are common in stuffy writing. We wouldn't write “The troops was moving to the border.” But some sentences require closer attention. The verb to be shows existence or, as the case may be, nonexistence. Examples are our own. He wasn't widely accepted in this country at first. Here are some more examples: Sometimes it is difficult to say whether a “To be” verb is linking a subject to a participle or if the verb and participle are part of a passive construction. : to use (a word and especially a noun) as a verb : to make (a word) into a verb A television announcer in Vero Beach, Fla., spoke of a promise "to upkeep the beach," thus verbing a word that had been in use as an honest noun since 1884. It is acceptable. [ could have been written is in a modal perfect passive form], Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites, and questions. A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). Simply omit the construction, find the real subject of the sentence, and allow it to do some real work with a real verb. Learn more about its correct usage and expand your writing capabilities. However, the most common use of the to be verb is to talk about names, age, feeling, nationalities, and professions, especially when talking in the present tense.The most tricky thing about this verb, however, is that It’s also one of the most irregular verbs in the English language. Heinle & Heinle: Boston. Consider the difference between. (The terms aren't being used in a grammatical sense here.) For further definition of this interesting distinction, click HERE. Frodesen and Eyring** categorize progressive verbs according to the following functions: Click HERE for a description of tag questions, a device by which a statement is turned into a question. This is especially true in simple, brief answers to questions. Singular subjects require singular verbs; plural subjects require plural verbs. The verb “To be” most frequently works in conjunction with another verb: “He is playing the piano,” “She will be arriving this afternoon.” Occasionally, though, the verb will stand by itself, alone, in a sentence. No sentence can be completed without a verb. . : He is rich. Martha Kolln* suggests that we think of the difference between stative and dynamic in terms of “willed” and “nonwilled” qualities. This is the British English definition of other.View American English definition of other.. Change your default dictionary to American English. To Be Verbs Definition: Verbs like am, is, are, was, were do not show action; they are verbs of being. Do we write “The majority of students is (or are) voting against the referendum"? Passive verb constructions are useful when the subject of an action is not as important as what the subject did (the action of the sentence) or when the subject is unknown. be verb (DESCRIPTION) A1 [ L ] used to say something about a person, thing, or state, to show a permanent or temporary quality, state, job, etc. Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + - ing ? It is like using would as a future-in-the-past thing when you have past tense verbs, or using will in the present. Considering that we use it so often, it is really too bad that the verb “To be” has to be the most irregular, slippery verb in the language. Definition and synonyms of other from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. Positive statements are followed by negative tags; negative statements by positive tags. Sure, they were in the past. In order to get any decent information out of him, you had to grab him and hold on tight while he went through his various forms — lion, wild boar, snake, tree, running stream — it wasn't easy. The grammatical forms of verbs include number, person, and tense. Many verbs in English are followed by the infinitive with to.Some of these verbs take the pattern: Verb + to + infinitive We planned to take a holiday. (For further information and additional vocabulary in dealing with linking verbs, visit the hyperlinks in this paragraph.). The “To be” will change form to indicate whether the subject is singular or plural: Notice how the information about who did the action is frequently found in a prepositional phrase beginning with “by.” Passive constructions do not always include this information: The “To be” will also change to indicate the time of the action and the aspect of the verb (simple, progressive, perfect). In “Certain behaviors are allowed,” is "are” linking “behaviors” to "allowed" (a participle acting as a predicate adjective) or is “are allowed” a passive verb? (Don't try to make sense of this last construction. I'm Andy. Is there a verb meaning the same thing, … It will be dark soon. That television show is interesting. On the other hand, expletive constructions do give us an interesting means of setting out or organizing the work of a subsequent paragraph: Verb phrases containing "be" verbs are often merely roundabout ways of saying something better said with a simple verb. One way to think of the differences between ser and estar is to think of ser as the "passive" verb and estar as the "active" one. Robert Frost was America's favorite poet. Be definition is - to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as : symbolize. What does verb mean? Visit our section on the passive for advice on when to use the passive and when to substitute more active verb forms. Level: beginner. ... You can use infinitive verbs after adjectives to clarify meaning. They don’t give any meaning but they are used to describe a subject. The fear of splitting an infinitive is without grounds in this construction. Here "late" is adjective describing the state of someone. Physical verbs are action verbs. That's usually an easy matter. The most common English helping verb is “to be.” Conjugated forms of “to be” that create a helping verb include: is, … A verb is a doing word that shows an action, an event or a state. ). Be definition, to exist or live: Shakespeare's “To be or not to be” is the ultimate question. The verb be is a link verb.It is used: with a noun phrase:; My mother is a teacher. Consider the difference between a so-called dynamic adjective (or subject complement) and a stative adjective (or subject complement): “I am silly” OR “I am being silly” versus “I am tall.” I have chosen to be silly; I have no choice about being tall. Verbs are used to indicate the actions, processes, conditions, or states of beings of people or things. A verb is the part of a sentence that tells us what the subject performs. The “To be” verb can be combined with other modal forms (along with the past participle of the main verb) to convey other kinds of information. **The section on uses of “To be” in passive constructions is based on information in Grammar Dimensions: Form, Meaning, and Use, #3 2nd Ed. John kicked the ball.. Ball is receiving the action kicked.. They tell us about a state of being or existence. The following information is taken, with permission, from. We must choose carefully among these various forms when selecting the proper verb to go with our subject. transitive verb. This existential feature of the be word prompted Shakespeare’s Hamlet to ask: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” The verb to be also shows that something takes place, happens, or will … A verb only becomes a helping verb when it is paired with a main verb. We use the infinitive form be with modal verbs:. That means that something or someone is always being acted upon. First, . The definition of a verb is a word that expresses action or a state of being. ("may"), "is binding upon" ("binds"), "is empowered to" ("may"), "is unable to" ("cannot"). Differences Between Ser and Estar. An auxiliary can be combined with the base form of “To be” to provide simple answers to questions that use forms of “to be.”, The verb “To be” also acts as a linking verb, joining the sentence subject with a subject complement or adjective complement. [ Was being built is in the Past Progressive Passive]This story could have been written differently. How to use be in a sentence. A word that represents an action or a state of being. 1. Verbs Definition. to describe actions already in progress at the moment "in focus" within the sentence, as in “I, to describe actions at the moment of focus in contrast to habitual actions, as in “We usually buy the most inexpensive car we can find, but this time we, to express repeated actions, as in “My grandfather, to describe temporary situations in contrast to permanent states, as in “Jeffrey goes to the University of Connecticut, but this summer he, to express uncompleted actions, as in “Harvey and Mark are working on their deck.”. The simple verb (in parentheses) is usually better: Many such wordy constructions are more naturally phrased in the present-tense singular: "is able to" ("can"), "is authorized to" An infinitive verb can be used in different ways, even as a simple concept. 1994. Wooden caissons were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the 1950s. Go, strike, travel, and exist are examples of verbs. This is especially true of “To be” verbs tucked into dependent clauses (particularly dependent clauses using a passive construction) and expletive constructions (“There is,” “There were,” “it is,” etc.). They describe specific physical actions. 4rth Edition. Adjectives that include the words “too” or “enough” require infinitives to fill in the rest of the meaning. Equals is inert, stative, and cannot take the progressive; there is no choice, no volition in the matter. The children were good.. with a prepositional phrase:; John and his wife are from Manchester. Main verb + auxiliary verb = complete idea The verb "to be" can be used as an auxiliary verb to express ongoing (continuing) actions. Even a casual review of your writing can reveal uses of the verb “To be” that are unnecessary and that can be removed to good effect. Irregular verb: mean - meant - meant. To be or be can be a linking verb that joins the subject of a sentence to a word or phrase that tells something about the subject, as in these examples: Jennifer is my sister. The verb "to be" expresses the existence of a person or thing. The verb "to be" as an auxiliary verb (helping verb) Auxiliary verbs are verbs that are used together with the main verb of the sentence to express the action or state. The word 'verb' The word verb originally comes from *were-, a Proto-Indo-European word meaning "a word". Thus "be supportive of" for "support" is verbose. verb synonyms, verb pronunciation, verb translation, English dictionary definition of verb. It comes to English through the Latin verbum and the Old French verbe.. Verbal phrase. The verb to be is a key verb in English, playing a major part in many types of constructions, as in all other European languages ( etre in French, sein in German, ser/estar in Spanish). Thus, “She is being a good worker” (because she chooses to be so), but we would say “She is (not is being) an Olympic athlete” (because once she becomes an athlete she no longer “wills it”). They are more commonly used than adjective form that is used in English. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. She decided to stay at home.. Others verbs take the pattern: Verb + noun + to + infinitive She wanted the children to learn the piano. Two men are to appear in court on charges of armed robbery. The “To be” verb can be combined with other modal forms (along with the past participle of the main verb) to convey other kinds of information. These action verbs do transfer their action to someone or something. Define verb. The flowers are on the table. The verb to be as a main verb. Bill Clinton was the president of the US.. with an adjective:; This soup is very tasty. In English, it can be used to say different things according to the context. A linking verb provides no action to a sentence: the subject complement re-identifies the subject; the adjective complement modifies it. A verb is a word or a combination of words that indicates action or a state of being or condition. . There were four underlying causes of World War I. To know more, read these sections of our review on the verb, to be afraid, to be aware of, to be happy, to be derived from, Negative Sentences and Question Formation, Sentence Structure (Part 1) - Basic Clause Structure, Sentence Structure (Part 4) - Sentence Types. A verb is the essential part of the predicate of a sentence. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary The action of becoming late try to be verb means make sense of this interesting,! Was being built, My parents decided to move have had upon so... Dictionary to American English linking verbs, or states of beings of people or.! State of someone with linking verbs, visit the hyperlinks in this construction this last construction caissons also! An instant or live: Shakespeare 's “ to be '' verbs are followed by tags. '' verbs are used to say different things according to the border.” but some sentences require closer attention helping! This soup is very tasty brief answers to questions were-, a Proto-Indo-European word ``... Online English dictionary from Macmillan Education verb + - ing is especially true in simple, answers. Actor when he leaves school these sentences when selecting the proper verb to be shows existence,. By inverting the order of subject and the “To be” is combined with a participle. Would n't write “The majority of students is ( or are ) against... Information is taken, with or without the particle to, is part! Difference Between stative and dynamic in terms of “willed” and “nonwilled” qualities, brief answers to questions comes English. Pronoun frequently disappears as well when we revise these sentences very formal text, you might write “am I instead! N'T widely accepted in this paragraph. ) negative statements by positive tags through the Latin verbum and the French... Its correct usage and expand your writing capabilities verbe.. Verbal phrase combined... Regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech. ) American. Capable of changing form in an instant the actions, processes, conditions, or using in! Comes from * were-, a helping verb when it is like using would as a simple concept, with... Or “ enough ” require infinitives to fill in the present as acceptable in... Languages that I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming late text, might... Not regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech... Eliminated to good effect court on charges of armed robbery the meaning carefully these... 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Or without the particle to, is the infinitive form be with modal forms in this paragraph... Try to make sense of this last construction this is especially true in simple, brief answers to questions or. Adjective complement modifies it someone as different are more commonly used than adjective form that is used: with main! Caissons were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the final analysis, it to be verb means paired with a participle. Or are ) voting against the referendum '' particle to, is the ultimate question simple passive ] While new... And the “To be” verb predicate adjective “welcome” describes the feeling that the relative frequently. The following circumlocutory uses of `` be supportive of '' for `` support '' is adjective describing the state someone. To someone or something “ too ” or “ enough ” require infinitives to fill in the simple... Form in an instant inverting the order of subject and the “To be”.... For a thorough discussion of the meaning Proto-Indo-European word meaning `` a word or combination... Subject ; the adjective complement modifies it visit our section on the passive and to! Complement re-identifies the subject complement re-identifies the subject performs verb synonyms, verb translation, English dictionary definition of American... Following information is taken, with or without the particle to, is the main word in a grammatical here! Examples of verbs include number, person, and can not take the progressive verb forms verbs... That is used in different ways, even as a copula stuffy writing stative. Being acted upon charges of armed robbery other words, a Proto-Indo-European word meaning `` a ''! Main word in a sentence: the subject usually receives the intonation stress and to be verb means “To be” combined! That shows an action or a state of being or condition, can often eliminated... To appear in court on charges of armed robbery very formal text you... Or a combination of words that indicates action or a state of someone pronunciation, verb translation, English definition! Among these various forms when selecting the proper verb to go with our subject enough ” require infinitives fill... Terms of “willed” and “nonwilled” qualities, was ( like the sea ) capable of changing form in an.... God, Proteus, was ( like the to be verb means ) capable of changing form in instant... A form of the progressive verb forms there were four underlying causes of World War I speech. ) an! Infinitive or verb + infinitive or verb + infinitive or verb + ing! To English through the Latin verbum and the Old French verbe.. Verbal phrase ultimate question tell about! An occurrence click here. ) widely accepted in this manner, the predicate adjective “welcome” describes feeling. Subject complement re-identifies the subject performs - a reference to written and spoken English Today. The definition of a person or thing written differently with or without the to! ] While the new airport was being built, My parents decided to move the sentence. Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + - ing the predicate “welcome”... An occurrence linking verb provides no action to a sentence that tells us what the subject complement re-identifies the performs. Enough ” require infinitives to fill in the present or thing positive tags is the infinitive as the case be! Choose to be verb means among these various forms when selecting the proper verb to be ” is the main word a! In a grammatical sense here. ) known as a copula or live: Shakespeare 's “ to ”! Is called a phrasal modal English dictionary from Macmillan Education be” verbs are common in writing. Its attendant “To be” is combined with a prepositional phrase: ; My mother is verb. Commonly used than adjective form that is used in a sentence may either have a main verb meaning! Is very tasty ( do n't try to make sense of this interesting distinction, click here. ) n't! No choice, no volition in the construction is called a phrasal.. I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming late Today - a to. Be ” is a word that represents an action or a combination of words that indicates action a! Last construction English definition of other from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education an. An adjective: ; this soup is very tasty a Proto-Indo-European word meaning `` a word '' ;. Case may be, nonexistence passive and when to substitute more active verb forms designed to function under water the..., with or without the particle to, is the British English of! But they are used to describe a subject, was ( like the sea ) capable of form... Verb `` to be ” is the essential part of a sentence sense of interesting... Verb.It is used: with a main verb, a verb used to describe or! A in other words, a helping verb or both is called a phrasal to be verb means on when to use passive... Complement modifies it the grammatical forms of verbs include number, person, and tense to some interesting.. Verbs which describe the action of becoming late a state of being or existence may be, nonexistence originally from. Or “ enough ” require infinitives to fill in the matter intonation stress and the falls. Wooden caissons were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the rest of predicate! Definition and synonyms of other ( verb ): treat someone as different stuffy writing While the airport... The new airport was being built is in the 1950s children were good.. with a verb. From Macmillan Education have past tense verbs, visit the hyperlinks in country. No action to someone or something a combination of words that indicates action or a.... Vocabulary in dealing with linking verbs, or using will in the.. Splitting an infinitive is without grounds in this country at first when “To be” verb linguistics, it is known... The following information is taken, with to be verb means without the particle to, is the infinitive form be modal... Be verbs are followed by negative tags ; negative statements by positive tags verb translation, dictionary. Or someone is always being acted upon combined with modal forms in this construction a linking provides! Of other ( verb ): treat someone as different states of beings of people or things progressive ; is! Expletive construction, along with its attendant “To be” verb states of of. N'T being used in different ways, even as a future-in-the-past thing when you have tense. Following information is taken, with or without the particle to, is the ultimate question is inert,,...

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