This is Easy Grammar
I’ve written some articles about how to use present simple. Now you also need to understand present simple with the verb be.
Some English learners think that when I say: I’m a teacher, I’m using the present progressive. But that’s not right, as I’m not using a verb with –ing.
I’m a teacher = present simple. I’m always a teacher, so this is a fact. And for facts and habits you use present simple, as we’ve learnt.
I can also tell you: I’m Jacqueline. Another little sentence in present simple.
Or: Eric is my neighbour. (He always is my neighbour.)
My neighbour is a scientist.
His wife is a scientist too.
They are married.
Their children are 9, 11 and 15 years old.
Their school is on the opposite side of the street.
Their dog is small and black.
The family isn’t rich, but they are happy.
You get the idea.
What are the forms of to be in Present Simple?
Now I’ll first show you all the pronouns with the verb forms (or conjugations) that go with them.
On the left side of the table you can see the affirmative forms. These you need for sentences that are statements (not questions).
In the middle are the forms for questions (note that the verb and the subject have changed places: the verb comes first, and then the pronoun).
The third column shows the negative forms to make negative sentences. This is easy, as you only need to add “not.”
|I am||(short forms)||Am I?||I am not||(Short form)||(Short form)|
|You are||You’re||Are you?||You are not||You’re not||You aren’t|
|She is||She’s||Is she?||She is not||She’s not||She isn’t|
|He is||He’s||Is he?||He is not||He’s not||He isn’t|
|It is||It’s||Is it?||It is not||It’s not||It isn’t|
|We are||We’re||Are we?||We are not||We’re not||We aren’t|
|They are||They’re||Are they?||They are not||They’re not||
Important Note about Pronunciation
Remember: When you speak, you say the contracted forms. So instead of saying you are you’d say you’re. Or instead of you are not, you can say: you aren’t or: you’re not (both are okay).
For questions, however, you can’t use the short forms. You can’t contract are you? You need to say both words.
For writing: Writing both contracted forms or the full forms are okay. Today, more people write contracted forms, also for formal writing, than the full forms. You can check in quality newspapers how sentences with be are written.
To check that you’ve got it, you can now do this quiz.
Change the sentences into questions or negatives. Whatever is indicated between the brackets ().
Amal is a fashion freak. (question)
You type: Is Amal a fashion freak?
She is tall. (negative)
She isn’t tall.
Note: Please don’t use contractions, as the system can handle only one correct answer!
1 These two people are my friends. (negative)
2 Jamil is a computer freak. (question)
3 He is clever. (question)
4 He is quick at typing. (negative)
5 His typing speed is 70 words per minute. (negative)
6 His favourite game is Minecraft. (question)
7 Farah is a bookworm. (negative)
8 Her favourite magazine is about celebs. (question)
9 Farah’s mother is famous. (negative)
10 She is an actor. (question)
If you’re a Gold member of English with a Smile, you can do this quiz as well.