English Grammar for You

A Comprehensive Grammar Guide

Uses of Be

‘Be’ verb can be used as either the main verb or the auxiliary  verb.

To give an introduction by names.

(…….is …………..)

My name is ……………………
My name is Rani. Or I am Rani.
My father is Ahmad. The name of my father is Ahmad.
My country is Sri Lanka. The name of my country is Sri Lanka.
The name of my city is Balangoda.

To talk about a job of a person..

(……… is a ……………)

I am a carpenter.
My father is a gem merchant.
She is not employed.

To describe the impersonal subjects or to give more details on the
subject, when the subject is very familiar or known with proper nouns.

(……… is a ………)

Sri Lanka is a country.
India is one of the biggest countries in the world.
It is an Island.
Sigiriya is a rock fortress.

To refer to the age of a person.

(……… is ….. years old/ of age)

I am forty years old. (Or of age)
My father is seventy years of age.
He is middle aged.

To refer to qualities of someone or something.

 (……… is adjective)

1.    He is kind and generous.
2.    She is always pessimistic.
3.    Andrew is honest and trustworthy.

To refer to the physical appearance of someone or something

(……… is adjective)

He is fat and tall.
His hair is curly.
His eyes are very large.
It is mango shaped.
Ravi’s shoulders are broad.
He is handsome and attractive.

 To refer to the height / width / length/ area.


(is …… m high / tall or in height)

My sister is 5 feet tall / in height)
Tom is 165 m in high / height)
Sigiriya is 380 m high /in height)


 (is …… m wide / in width)

My room is 6m wide/in width)
This building is 30m wide/in width)
Sri Lanka is 224km wide/ in width)


My room is 10 m long/in length)
This building is 30m long/in length)
Sri Lanka is 432km long/in length)

(is …… m in extent/extend)

1.    This land is 1000m in extend.
2.     It is 65610 km in extend.

To refer to complexion of a person

 ….. is fair / dark in complexion

1.     My sister is fair in complexion.
2.     He is dark in complexion.

To refer to distance

(is ….. far/away from……..

1.     My home town is 43 kilometres away from Ratnapura.
2.     My residence is 3 miles far from the school.

To talk about Hobbies

(is Ving ………)

1.     My hobby is reading novels.
2.     His hobbies are playing and gardening.

To talk about favourite …

….favourite …… is ………

1.     My favourite colour is green.
2.     His favourite subject is English.

Be’ verb is used to refer to time or date.

1.    It is twelve noon.
2.    It is the twenty-seventh of January. 

Be’ verb with comparative and superlative adjective.
1.    He is better than I in English.
2.    Raja is taller than Ganesh.
3.    Ravi is the cleverest in the class,
4.    Science is the most difficult subject to understand.

‘Be’ verb is used with the following list of adjectives.

……… is adjective

 Afraid (of), critical (of), jealous (of), ashamed (of), convinced (of), envious (of), proud (of), tired (of), scared (of), frightened (of), close (to), equal (to), identical (to), related (to), similar (to), married (to), engaged (to), loyal (to), dedicated (to), devoted (to), loyal (to), junior (to), senior (to), amazed (at), bored (with), content (with), pleased (with), satisfied (with), bad (at), hopeless (at)  etc.

‘Be’ verb is used to form the preparatory subject,’ It’.

It + be + adjective + to infinitive / for + infinitive / that …
It + be + noun phrase + to infinitive / for + infinitive / that …

1.It is difficult to console him.
2.It’s nice to meet you.
3.It is my duty to help him
4.It is easy for him to go home.
5.It is likely that the union will take action against him.

’Be’ verb is used to form the preparatory subject ,‘there’.

A past habitual Behaviour

1.I used to drink coffee after lunch when I was in London.
2. My sister used to read famous stories.