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To Be - Present Tense


To Be - Affirmative

SubjectTo BeExamples
Iamam from New Zealand.
YouareYou are Chilean.
HeisHe is twenty years old.
SheisShe is a nurse.
ItisIt is a big dog.
WeareWe are intelligent.
YouareYou are students.
TheyareThey are married.

To Be - Contractions

Contractions of To Be are very frequent when we are speaking.

To BeContractionExamples
I amI'mI'm from New Zealand.
You areYou'reYou're Chilean.
He isHe'sHe's twenty years old.
She isShe'sShe's a nurse.
It isIt'sIt's a big dog.
We areWe'reWe're intelligent.
You areYou'reYou're students.
They areThey'reThey're married.

To Be - Negative Sentences

The negative of To Be can be made by adding not after the verb.

SubjectTo BeExamples
Iam notam not from Spain.
Youare notYou are not Australian.
Heis notHe is not thirty years old.
Sheis notShe is not a secretary.
Itis notIt is not a small cat.
Weare notWe are not stupid.
Youare notYou are not teachers.
Theyare notThey are not single.

To Be - Negative Contractions

There are two ways of forming contractions of To Be in negative sentences. One is with a contraction of the subject and the verb (e.g. I am = I'm) OR a contraction of the verb and not (e.g. are not = aren't)

I'm not from Spain.-----------------*
You're not Australian.ORYou aren't Australian.
He's not thirty years old.ORHe isn't thirty years old.
She's not a secretary.ORShe isn't a secretary.
It's not a small cat.ORIt isn't a small cat.
We're not stupid.ORWe aren't stupid.
You're not teachers.ORYou aren't teachers.
They're not single.ORThey aren't single.

* Notice that the only possible contraction for I am not is I'm not.

To Be - Questions

To create questions with To Be, you put the Verb before the Subject.


I am intelligent.Am I intelligent?
You are a student.Are you a student?
He is a pilot.Is he a pilot?
She is from Spain.Is she from Spain?
It is a big house.Is it a big house?
We are ready.Are we ready?
You are doctors.Are you doctors?
They are rich.Are they rich?

To Be - Short Answers

In spoken English, we usually give short answers in response to questions.

Are you a student? - Yes, I am (a student). The last part (a student) is not necessary. We use shorts answers to avoid repetition, when the meaning is clear.

QuestionShort Answers**Short Answers
Am I intelligent?Yes, you are.No, you aren't.
Are you a student?Yes, I am.No, I am not.
Is he a pilot?Yes, he is.No, he isn't.
Is she from Spain?Yes, she is.No, she isn't.
Is it a big house?Yes, it is.No, it isn't.
Are we ready?Yes, we are.No, we aren't.
Are you doctors?Yes, we are.No, we aren't.
Are they rich?Yes, they are.No, they aren't.

** With To Be, We don't use contractions in affirmative short answers unless there is additional information after it (in which case they are no longer considered short answers).

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