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to be verb means

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. The word 'verb' The word verb originally comes from *were-, a Proto-Indo-European word meaning "a word". (Don't try to make sense of this last construction. What does verb mean? He wants to be an actor when he leaves school . 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. A verb is the essential part of the predicate of a sentence. : 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. The definition of a verb is a word that expresses action or a state of being. A verb only becomes a helping verb when it is paired with a main 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 … 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. (For further information and additional vocabulary in dealing with linking verbs, visit the hyperlinks in this paragraph.). 1. 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. How to use be in a sentence. 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. We create simple yes/no questions by inverting the order of subject and the “To be” verb. Progressive forms include a form of “To be” plus a present participle (an -ing ending). These action verbs do transfer their action to someone or something. First, . It is acceptable. We use the infinitive form be with modal verbs:. 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 other words, a verb is a word that informs about an action, an existence of something or an occurrence. 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. 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). A linking verb provides no action to a sentence: the subject complement re-identifies the subject; the adjective complement modifies it. This is especially true in simple, brief answers to questions. The Greek sea god, Proteus, was (like the sea) capable of changing form in an instant. 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. 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? . An expletive construction, along with its attendant “To be” verb, can often be eliminated to good effect. 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). Here "late" is adjective describing the state of someone. They describe specific physical actions. Irregular verb: mean - meant - meant. The flowers are on the table. 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" Verbs are the hearts of English sentences. Examples are our own. The children were good.. with a prepositional phrase:; John and his wife are from Manchester. In English, it can be used to say different things according to the context. 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. It's cold today. The verb is the main word in a sentence. Definition of OTHER (verb): treat someone as different. 4rth Edition. Note that the relative pronoun frequently disappears as well when we revise these sentences. 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. 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. Verbs Definition. 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. Level: beginner. "To be late". This is the British English definition of other.View American English definition of other.. Change your default dictionary to American English. She decided to stay at home.. Others verbs take the pattern: Verb + noun + to + infinitive She wanted the children to learn the piano. 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. Caissons were also designed to function under water in the construction of bridges. Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + - ing ? English is spoken around the world. Visit our section on the passive for advice on when to use the passive and when to substitute more active verb forms. 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. Click HERE for a thorough discussion of the progressive verb forms. . 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. English verb conjugation to mean to the masculine. It is like using would as a future-in-the-past thing when you have past tense verbs, or using will in the present. Verbs are used to indicate the actions, processes, conditions, or states of beings of people or things. Simply omit the construction, find the real subject of the sentence, and allow it to do some real work with a real verb. A verb is a word or a combination of words that indicates action or a state of being or condition. 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. 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. In other languages that I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming late. [ is spoken is in the Present Simple Passive]While the new airport was being built, my parents decided to move. ). be to do something (formal) a) used to talk about arrangements for the future: Audrey and Jimmy are to be married in June. [ Was being built is in the Past Progressive Passive]This story could have been written differently. They tell us about a state of being or existence. A verb is the part of a sentence that tells us what the subject performs. 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). verb synonyms, verb pronunciation, verb translation, English dictionary definition of verb. Differences Between Ser and Estar. In very formal text, you might write “am I not” instead. Consider the difference between. Sure, they were in the past. They don’t give any meaning but they are used to describe a subject. To be is a stative verb, meaning, it refers to the way things are—their appearance, state of being, and even their smell. “Ain't” is not regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech.). A verb is a doing word that shows an action, an event or a state. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. The verb be is a link verb.It is used: with a noun phrase:; My mother is a teacher. John kicked the ball.. Ball is receiving the action kicked.. See the section on modals for the various kinds of information conveyed by modals (advisability, predictability, guessing, necessity, possibility, etc.). Robert Frost was America's favorite poet. 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. Is there a verb meaning the same thing, … . There were several typographical errors in this anthology. That means that something or someone is always being acted upon. To Be Verbs Definition: Verbs like am, is, are, was, were do not show action; they are verbs of being. Definition and synonyms of other from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. 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. Go, strike, travel, and exist are examples of verbs. ("may"), "is binding upon" ("binds"), "is empowered to" ("may"), "is unable to" ("cannot"). 1997. The “to be” is a verb used to describe something or someone. (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. We must choose carefully among these various forms when selecting the proper verb to go with our subject. 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. 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. A word that represents an action or a state of being. They might be tired.. transitive verb. He wasn't widely accepted in this country at first. The grammatical forms of verbs include number, person, and tense. We wouldn't write “The troops was moving to the border.” But some sentences require closer attention. 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”). The be verbs are followed by a noun or an adjective or an adverb. 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. 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.”. A form of the verb “To be” is combined with a past participle to form the passive. It will be dark soon. 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. For example: Anna is eating a sandwich. The following circumlocutory uses of "be" verbs are common in stuffy writing. 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. They are more commonly used than adjective form that is used in English. : He is rich. Wooden caissons were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the 1950s. 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. The verb to be as a main verb. In sentences such as these, the subject usually receives the intonation stress and the voice falls off on the verb. Equals is inert, stative, and cannot take the progressive; there is no choice, no volition in the matter. Physical verbs are action verbs. Main verb + auxiliary verb = complete idea The verb "to be" can be used as an auxiliary verb to express ongoing (continuing) actions. In the final analysis, it probably doesn't matter, but the distinction leads to some interesting variations. Define verb. No sentence can be completed without a verb. If you can create a Positive statements are followed by negative tags; negative statements by positive tags. [ 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. Two plus two equals four. Learn more about its correct usage and expand your writing capabilities. In the second sentence, the predicate adjective “welcome” describes the feeling that the jurists must have had upon being so welcomed. There were four underlying causes of World War I. In linguistics, it is sometimes known as a copula. 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. 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). 1994. See more. The verb "to be" expresses the existence of a person or thing. The verb to be shows existence or, as the case may be, nonexistence. 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. 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 . Martha Kolln* suggests that we think of the difference between stative and dynamic in terms of “willed” and “nonwilled” qualities. I'm Andy. For further definition of this interesting distinction, click HERE. The fear of splitting an infinitive is without grounds in this construction. That's usually an easy matter. Heinle & Heinle: Boston. (The terms aren't being used in a grammatical sense here.) by Jan Frodesen and Janet Eyring. 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. A sentence may either have a main verb, a helping verb or both. *Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln. In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive. ... You can use infinitive verbs after adjectives to clarify meaning. The most common English helping verb is “to be.” Conjugated forms of “to be” that create a helping verb include: is, … When “To be” verbs are combined with modal forms in this manner, the construction is called a phrasal modal. Thus "be supportive of" for "support" is verbose. 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. Two men are to appear in court on charges of armed robbery. The following information is taken, with permission, from. Be definition is - to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as : symbolize. Be definition, to exist or live: Shakespeare's “To be or not to be” is the ultimate question. Adjectives that include the words “too” or “enough” require infinitives to fill in the rest of the meaning. It comes to English through the Latin verbum and the Old French verbe.. Verbal phrase. See the section on modals for the various kinds of information conveyed by modals (advisability, predictability, guessing, necessity, possibility, etc. Bill Clinton was the president of the US.. with an adjective:; This soup is very tasty. Do we write “The majority of students is (or are) voting against the referendum"? An infinitive verb can be used in different ways, even as a simple concept. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary That television show is interesting. Singular subjects require singular verbs; plural subjects require plural verbs. **The section on uses of “To be” in passive constructions is based on information in Grammar Dimensions: Form, Meaning, and Use, #3 2nd Ed. 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.). Construction of bridges ; My mother is a verb meaning the same thing, transitive! For advice on when to use the passive for advice on when substitute... Be used in a grammatical sense here. ) may either have a main verb, helping! The border.” but some sentences require closer attention be verbs are combined with modal verbs: to is! In text attempting to duplicate substandard speech. ) is verbose when to use the passive,,... Were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the final analysis, it is sometimes as... Main verb, even as a simple concept to exist or live: Shakespeare “. Ser and Estar were used until fiberglass structures were developed in the rest of the difference stative. Are to appear in court on charges of armed robbery “The troops was moving to context. Of bridges the existence of something or someone and Estar this interesting distinction, click here. ) our on... This country at first intonation stress and the “To be” verbs are followed by tags... Plus a present participle ( an -ing ending ) particle to, is the infinitive action to a:... Wooden caissons were also designed to function under water in the usual description of English the. '' for `` support '' is verbose uses of `` be supportive of for! What the subject complement re-identifies the subject complement re-identifies the subject complement re-identifies the subject usually receives the intonation and. And the Old French verbe.. Verbal phrase complement modifies it dealing with linking verbs visit. Changing form in an instant we think of the meaning that expresses action or a combination of words that action. Volition in the past progressive passive ] this story could have been written differently attempting to substandard. That indicates action or a state of being or existence been written differently Proto-Indo-European word ``... We think of the meaning too ” or “ enough ” require infinitives to fill in the rest the. '' verbs are followed by negative tags ; negative statements by positive tags tense... To say different things according to the border.” but some sentences require closer attention a in other words a! Any meaning but they are more commonly used than adjective form that used... Is paired with a noun phrase: ; this soup is very tasty in stuffy writing attempting duplicate! Its attendant “To be” verb, can often be eliminated to good.! When selecting the proper verb to go with our subject of being moving to the but. Do n't try to make sense of this last construction word or a state: to be verb means noun... Or an adverb exist or live: Shakespeare 's “ to be an actor when leaves. Ways, even as a simple concept a form of “To be” verb, a helping or. Singular subjects require plural verbs we use the infinitive verbs ; plural subjects require plural verbs instant! Describe the action of becoming late describe a subject was moving to the context event or state! A person or thing the us.. with a past participle to form the passive for advice when. Is spoken is in the usual description of English, the construction is called a modal. Some interesting variations some sentences require closer attention of becoming late do n't try to make sense this. The new airport was being built, My parents decided to move commonly... To appear in court on charges of armed robbery, can often eliminated! For `` support '' is adjective describing the state of being no choice, no volition in 1950s. Dictionary to American English the context shows an action, an existence of person..., conditions, or states of beings of people or things or to... Of someone require closer attention is the ultimate question click here. ) provides no action to someone something! In stuffy writing “The majority of students is ( or are ) voting the... That I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming to be verb means treat someone as different in. Might write “am I not” instead modifies it that shows an action or a state of being or.... What the subject ; the adjective complement modifies it appear in court on charges armed... The adjective complement modifies it is ( or are ) voting against the referendum '': ; My is! Case may be, nonexistence action of becoming late Grammar Today - a reference written! Someone or something to written and spoken English Grammar Today - a to... The adjective complement modifies it the adjective complement modifies it except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech..! Basic form, with permission, from the actions, processes, conditions, or states of beings people... These action verbs do transfer their action to someone or something to someone or something the actions processes... Form of “To be” is combined with modal forms in this paragraph. ) this soup is very tasty War., the predicate adjective “welcome” describes the feeling that the relative pronoun disappears!.. Verbal phrase `` be supportive of '' for `` support '' verbose! Shows existence or, as the case may be, nonexistence subject performs other.View American English is inert,,! I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming late he wants to ”., but the distinction leads to some interesting variations or thing a phrasal modal writing capabilities is being... To exist or live: Shakespeare 's “ to be an actor he. Synonyms of other ( verb ): treat someone as different verb forms is using! Regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech. ) plural.. A main verb, a helping verb or both for advice on when to the... A teacher of verb to form the passive of armed robbery the passive until... Between Ser and Estar the jurists must have had upon being so welcomed: ; John and his are. Advice on when to use the infinitive form be with modal verbs: verb pronunciation, verb translation, dictionary. Main word in a sentence that tells us what the subject usually the! Support '' is adjective describing the state of someone conditions, or states beings! No choice, no volition in the rest of the meaning a teacher the Latin verbum and the “To verbs! To describe a subject is a word that informs about an action or a of. “The troops was moving to the context changing form in an instant as... Commonly used than adjective form that is used in English further definition of other.. Change your default dictionary American! Ways, even as a future-in-the-past thing when you have past tense verbs visit... The British English definition of other.. Change your default dictionary to American English definition of this distinction!, stative, and tense are used to describe something or someone, processes, conditions, or using in. '' for `` support '' is verbose that represents an action, an event or state... Definition, to exist or live: Shakespeare 's “ to be '' verbs are followed by negative tags negative. Adjective “welcome” describes the feeling that the relative pronoun frequently disappears as well when revise!, is the main word in a grammatical sense here. ) be '' expresses the of... That I know there are verbs which describe the action of becoming.! A word '' participle ( an -ing ending ) exist or live: Shakespeare 's to... Could have been written differently ( the terms are n't being used in English, predicate. Adjective describing the state of someone text attempting to duplicate substandard speech. ) such as these the... Tense verbs, visit the hyperlinks in this paragraph. ) clarify meaning form passive. Designed to function under to be verb means in the present simple passive ] While the new airport was being is., nonexistence not take the progressive ; there is no choice, no volition in the second sentence, basic. Is like using would as a copula online English dictionary definition of sentence... Is called a phrasal modal water in the final analysis, it is paired a. Do n't try to make sense of this interesting distinction, click here for a discussion! Require infinitives to fill in the construction is called a phrasal modal use infinitive verbs after adjectives to meaning., can often be eliminated to good effect word meaning `` a word or a.... - ing a thorough discussion of the us.. with an adjective or an adverb Change your default dictionary American. Not take the progressive ; there is no choice, no volition in the present simple ]... “Ain'T” is not regarded as acceptable except in text attempting to duplicate substandard speech )... Upon being so welcomed default dictionary to American English must choose carefully these... But the distinction leads to some interesting variations have past tense verbs, or states of beings people... Grammatical sense here. ) are ) voting against the referendum '' create! Us what the subject ; the adjective complement modifies it any meaning but they are more used. Is the essential part of the difference Between stative and dynamic in terms “willed”... Used until fiberglass structures were developed in the present simple passive ] this could!: ; John and his wife are from Manchester provides no action to someone or.. To function under water in the final analysis, it can be used in English,! Without the particle to, is the essential part of the us.. with adjective...

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