1.1 One Page Organization

Most of this Pressbooks 101 is set up in the One Page style of Organization. Each chapter fills up a single page with all the text, media, and interactive content mingling throughout the page as necessary. This chapter is an example of this style of structure.


Learning Objectives

The verb To Be is essential in grammar. It is an auxiliary and irregular verb.
(We will see its use in combination with other verbs to express actions and behaviour in the Present Progressive form).

When expressed in its Affirmative form, the verb confirms something about the subject.


Learning Objectives

It is used as a linking word, between the subject and a complement or adjective, to provide further information about the subject itself.

The Affirmative form of the verb To Be has this structure:
subject + verb to be.

I am I’m
You are You’re
He is He’s
She is She’s
It is It’s
We are We’re
You are You’re
They are They’re

*The short form is used in spoken language or in informal writing.



To Be is used with:

  1. nouns
    • I am a student.
    • He is a lawyer.
    • We are doctors.
  2. adjectives
    • I am tall.
    • He is polite.
    • Many people are happy.
  3. prepositional phrases (or complements)
    • My book is on the bed.
    • There is a good movie on TV.
    • There are eggs in the box.

To Be is used to talk about:

  1. age
    • You are 12 years old.
    • He is 35 years old.
    • We are 35.
  2. price
    • This coat is $100.
    • This dress is $50.
    • The books are $80 in total.
  3. size
    • A standard double bed is 5 feet wide.
    • The dress is medium.
    • The blue shoes are size 38.
  4. shape
    • The table is square.
    • The building is rectangle.
    • The tower is oval-shaped.
  5. colour
    • My hair is brown.
    • His eyes are green.
    • Our room is pink.
  6. nationality
    • I am from Greece.
    • He is Italian.
    • They are French.

To Be can also be used in short forms:

  • You’re 12 years old.
  • This coat’s $100.
  • A standard double bed’s 5 feet wide.

Key Takeaways

To Be has a very basic structure, when it is in combination with other classes of words (nouns, adjectives, complements, etc.), it gives us more details about the condition of the subject.

To Be is used with:

  1. nouns.
  2. adjectives.
  3. prepositional Phrases (or complements).

To Be is used to talk about the characteristics of the subject, for example:

  1. age.
  2. price.
  3. size.
  4. shape.
  5. colour.
  6. nationality.

The short form is used in spoken language or in informal writing. When the subject is a name or noun instead of a pronoun, we use the short form only with the third person singular.

For example: (“His eyes are green. / His eyes’re green.” > “Our room is pink. / Our room’s pink.”)


The verb To Be is one of the most commonly used auxiliary verbs in English. When used in its Affirmative form, the verb confirms something about the subject (when we are describing it). To be is often used with nouns, adjectives and prepositional phrases.

The verb To Be in its Affirmative form has this structure:
subject + verb to be (e.g. I am an actress.)

For example:
— “I’m an actress.” = The verb confirms a characteristic of the subject.

NOTE: We use the short form in spoken language or informal writings.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.

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Read the short poem addressed “To My Reader”; listen to the Professor’s commentary and click on the portions of the text highlighted in yellow below:

Amis lecteurs qui ce livre lisez,
Despouillez vous de toute affection.
Et le lisant ne vous scandalisez,
Il ne contient mal ne infection.
Vray est qu’icy peu de perfection
Vous apprendrez, si non en cas de rire.
Aultre argument ne peut mon cueur elire.
Voiant le dueil qui vous mine & consomme,
Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escrire,
Pour ce que rire est le propre de l’homme.


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H5P Activities:

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