English as an Additional Language/Copular verb to be: present tense

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'To be' is perhaps the most important verb in the English language. It is known as a 'copular verb'. 'Be' is irregular, so its present tense conjugation must be memorized.

The Present Tense[edit]

Here is the present tense conjugation, with their IPA equivalents.

  • I am. /æːm/
  • You are. /ɑr/
  • He is. /ɪz/
  • She is. /ɪz/
  • It is. /ɪz/
  • We are. /ɑr/
  • They are. /ɑr/

The forms of to be contract to the pronoun, shown here:

  • I'm
  • You're
  • He's
  • She's
  • It's
  • We're
  • They're

These contracted forms are used regularly in speech by native speakers.

Here are some examples.

  • I am 36 years old.
  • They are hungry.