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'Be' Verbs

A verb shows action or a state of being.

I go home. Home is my place to rest. I like the smell of my house. I feel totally relaxed.
Home refreshes me. At home, I get ready for a new day.

"Be" verbs indicate a state of being.

Verbs must match subjects.


 I am a doctor.
 He is sleepy.
 We are here.

Negative sentences need ‘not' after the verb.


 I am not a doctor.
 He is not sleepy.
 We are not there.

The verb comes first in interrogative sentences.


 Am I a doctor?
 Is he sleepy?
 Are we there?

"Are not" (is not) can be shortened to "aren't" (isn't).


 He isn't sleepy.
 We aren't there.

Remember the variations of "be" verbs:

Present Negative Interrogative


I am I am not Am I?
You are You are not (aren't) Are you?
He is He is not (isn't) Is he?
She is She is not (isn't) Is she?
It is It is not (isn't) Isn't it?
We are We are not (aren't) Are we?
You are You are not (aren't) Are you?
They are They are not (aren't) Are they?

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Exercise: Underline the “be” verb.

1. I am thirsty.

2. You are kind.

3. He is not sad.

4. She is tall.

5. It is not moving.

7. Are they running?

8. Is she ready to go to school?

Exercise 2: Fill in these sentences using the correct form of the verb ‘to be’ and the words in the
brackets. Then write the words in the blanks.

1. I_____________ happy.(not) 2. He _________ sad.

3. You _____________ Japanese.(not) 4. We __________ Chinese.

5. They ____________ busy.(not) 6. Tigers _________big cats.

7. Cheung Chau __________ in Kowloon.(not) 8. His name ______ Billy..

9. We _______ good friends. 10. She ______ my mother.

11. He ______ 2 years old.(not) 12. I ______ thirteen years old.

13. They ______ good football players.(not)

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Action Verbs
Action verbs express action and are the most common verbs.

Action verbs need s at the end with third-person, singular subjects.


 He eats bread.
 She walks to the station.
 It floats on the sea.

Negative sentences need do not, does not, or did not.


 I do not eat bread.
 He does not eat bread.
 You did not walk to the station.
 It does not float on the sea.

Interrogative sentences begin with do, does, or did.


 Do you eat bread?
 Does he eat bread?
 Does she walk to the station?
 Did they finish it?

Do not can be shortened to don't, does not to doesn't, and did not to didn't.
 I don't eat bread.
 She doesn't walk to the station.
 It doesn't float on the sea.
 They didn't finish it.

Remember the variations of action verbs:

Affirmative Sentence Negative Sentence Interrogative Sentence


I sing a song. I do not (don't) sing a song. Do I sing a song?
You sing a song. You do not (don't) sing a song. Do you sing a song?
He (she) sings a song. He (she) does not (doesn't) sing a song. Does he (she) sing a song?
We sing a song. We do not (don't) sing a song. Do we sing a song?
They sang a song. They did not (didn't) sing a song. Did they sing a song?

Correct the verb errors in the sentences below. Some sentences may be correct as is.

1) I runs a marathon. 2) You look sleepy.

3) She do not dance. 4) Does you leave today?

5) We don't stay here. 6) It come with rice.

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Simple Tense
Verb tense tells you when the action happens. There are three main verb tenses: present, past, and
future. Each main tense is divided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive tenses.

Present Past Future

Simple finish finished will finish

Progressive am/is/are finishing was/were finishing will be finishing

Perfect have/has finished had finished will have finished

Perfect Progressive have/has been finishing had been finishing will have been finishing

Things to remember about simple tense:

a. Present tense is the original verb form.


b. Past tense has a few patterns.
c. Future tense needs will (shall) + verb.

run
 I run a marathon twice a year. (present)
 I ran a marathon last year. (past)
 I will run a marathon next year. (future)
eat
 I eat lunch in my office.
 I ate lunch an hour ago.
 I will eat lunch in one hour.
see
 I see a movie once a week.
 I saw a movie yesterday.
 I will see a movie tomorrow.
know
 I know it.
 I knew it the day before yesterday.
 I will know it by tomorrow.
learn
 I learn English.
 I learned English the last two years.
 I will learn English next year.
cook
 I cook my supper every night.
 I cooked our dinner already.
 I will cook breakfast tomorrow.

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Exercise 1: Say these sentences using the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Then
write the words in the blanks.

(1) Susie ______________ shopping in Causeway Bay.(love)

(2) Causeway Bay ____________ very busy. (be)

(3) Betty _______________________ early.(not get up)

(4) I ______________________ fruit.(not like)

(5) School always _____________ at eight o’clock in the morning.(start)

(6) We usually _________________ at school at half past seven.(arrive)

(7) The dog ________________ me. (like)

(8) Henry ___________ a nice school bag.(have)

(9) She ________________ television every night. (not watch)

(10) I ____________________ that dress.(not like)