Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » Present simple forms of ‘to be’

The present simple of be – FORM

Educational chart illustrating the present simple forms of the verb 'to be' with examples in positive, negative, and question forms, alongside short answers for an elementary-level English grammar lesson.

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The present simple of the verb be has three forms:

  • am.
  • He/She/It is.
  • We/You/They are.


They= people and things

We use he for a man, she for a woman, and it for a thing.

  • He‘s a little boy. 
  • She‘s beautiful. 
  • I like this TV. It‘s very big. 

We use they for people and for things.

  • I love Sara and Jonas. They are my friends.
  • I love these chairs. They are very beautiful.


Don’t forget the subject

We always need a subject before the verb.

  • It is cold. blank
  • Is cold. blank
  • Sally is a wonderful woman. blank
  • Is a wonderful woman. blank


Contractions or short forms

We use ‘m, ‘s and ‘re with personal pronouns (I, you, he, etc.)

  • I’m sad.
  • You’re tired.
  • She’s from Scotland.

But we can also use ‘s with names.

  • Laura’s beautiful.
  • London’s an expensive city. 


Contractions in short answers

We can only use contractions in negative short answers. Not in positive short answers.

  • Yes, I am. blank
  • Yes, I’m. blank
  • Yes, she is. blank
  • Yes, she’s. blank
  • Yes, they are. blank
  • Yes, they’re. blank


The present simple of be – USE

Infographic displaying various uses of the verb 'to be', including introducing people, age, job, nationality, feelings, color, prices, weather, time, and descriptions, with example sentences.

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We use the verb be to talk about:

  • Who we are: I‘m Steven, and this is Isabella. And this is my daughter, Alicia.
  • Age: I‘m 24 years old, and my father is 50. 
  • Job: I‘m a teacher, and my wife is a doctor. 
  • Nationality: Alex is from Ireland, and Sonia is from Spain.
  • Feelings: I‘m scared. She is very tired. 
  • ColourOur dog is black. His eyes are blue.
  • Prices: It‘s seven pounds. This T-shirt is twenty dollars.  
  • The weather: It‘s sunny today. It is very cold this morning. 
  • The time: What time is it? It‘s ten past four. 
  • Descriptions in general: He is very short and thin. The cars are old and cheap.