How to Use Helping Verb ‘to be’ for English
Updated: Jan 10
Brief overview of the Helping Verb- ‘to be’
Helping verbs or Auxiliary verbs are used with the main verb to help us make different tenses in the English language. The primary helping/ auxiliary verbs are ' to be', 'to do', and 'to have'. Here we are going to discuss the helping verb ‘to be’ in more detail.
The verbs 'to be' and 'to have' are the most commonly used auxiliary verbs in English grammar and work alongside the main verbs in any statement.
All grammar rules for Helping Verb- ‘to be’
The verb ‘to be’ is generally used to show the status or characteristics of something or someone. It says ‘what I am’, ‘what you are’ or ‘what something is’.
Be’ is in fact the most common verb in the English language. It can be used as an auxiliary and a main verb. It is used a lot in its other forms as listed below-
Base form = be
Past form = was/were
Present form = am/is/are
Present Participle / Gerund = being
Past Participle = been
Sentence patterns for Helping Verb- ‘to be’
1. Present Simple Tense
I am a teacher
You are a student
He /She is a student
2. Simple Past Tense
I was a student
You were a student
He /She was a student
3. Future Simple Tense
I will be a student
You will be a teacher
He / She will be a teacher
The verb phrase in any sentence can include a maximum of three helping Verbs.
When used with the present participle of other verbs it describes actions that are or were still continuing - auxiliary verb be [+ ing] form of the main verb
In Present Continuous Tense
I am being silly
In Past Continuous Tense
I was being silly
2. With Am/Is/Are the verb ‘to be’ is used to create yes/no questions by inverting the order of subject and the “To be” verb.
I am an athlete. (Statement) Am I an athlete? (Question)