Be is used both as a principal verb and as an auxiliary verb.
Be as a principal verb
Be and its forms (is, am, are, was and were) are usually used to link the subject with a following word.
- Alice is an advocate.
- Mary is very intelligent.
- You are wonderful.
- He was angry.
To express a command or request
Be can be used to express a command or request.
- Be quite.
- Don’t be silly.
- Be off.
- Be a good girl.
Special uses of Be
Be is used in a number of expressions about physical feelings (hunger, thirst etc.) and physical conditions (age, size, colour etc.).
- I am Manju.
- She is 25.
- He is an architect.
- We are happy.
- It is cold today.
- I am thirsty.
- Are you hungry?
- It is very cold.
- He is tall.
- She is fair.
Structures with Be
Be + infinitive
Be can be followed by a to-infinitive. This structure is used to talk about plans and arrangements.
- I am to meet him tomorrow.
- He is to arrive soon.
- They are to get married next month.
Be + infinitive can also be used to give commands or orders.
- You are to finish your homework before you go to bed.
- You are to sit in that corner and keep quiet.
- You are not to misbehave with the servants.
Be + perfect infinitive
A perfect infinitive (to have + past participle) can be used after be to show that a planned event did not happen.
- They were to have been married last month, but had to postpone the marriage.
Be + passive infinitive
Be+ passive infinitive (to be + past participle) is often used in notices and instructions.
- This medicine is to be taken twice daily.
- The sticker on this bottle is not to be removed.
- This book is not to be resold.