To Be

To Be (or Not to Be)

“To Be” is an important verb in English. Look at this table to see the conjugation for different persons in the present simple tense.

Person“To Be” form (Present simple)Contraction
he / She / ItisHe’s / She’s / it’s

These pictures show examples of “to be” in context.

We can use this verb for a lot of things:

  • I am English. (Nationality)
  • I am 45. (Age)
  • I am a teacher. (Job / Profession)
  • I am tired. (Feelings)
  • I am tall. (Characteristics)


Negative formNegative with contractionNegative example
I am notI’m notI’m not Brazilian.
You are notYou’re notYou’re not old.
He / She / It is notHe’s not / she’s not / it’s not
He isn’t / She isn’t / it isn’t
It isn’t difficult.
We are notWe aren’t / we’re notWe’re not interested.

Here you can see some examples of this verb used in a negative form.


To form questions, just invert the order of the subject and the verb, as shown below:

Statement with “to be”Question with “to be”
I am here.Am I here?
You are here.Are you here?
He / She / it is here.Is he / she / it here?
We are here.Are we here?
They are here.Are they here?

Examples of Questions with “to be”

Am I here?

Are you here?

Is he / She / it here?

Are we here?

Are they here?