Grammar - Elementary


To Be

To Be
Positive Negative Question
I am
You are
He is
She is
It is
We are
You are
They are
I am not
You aren't
He isn't
She isn't
It isn't
We aren't
You aren't
They aren't
Am I?
Are you?
Is he?
Is she?
Is it?
Are we?
Are you?
Are they?

Examples.

My father is a doctor.
Venice and Milan are beautiful cities.
What a surprise! We are the first people in the cinema.

Questions

To make questions using the verb 'to be', you do not use auxiliary verbs such as 'to do' or 'to have' that other verbs and tenses use. You just need to invert the subject and verb, as shown in the table above.

Examples.

Are you from Brazil or Argentina?
How old are your two sisters?
Is it an old dog?
Are we ready yet?

Negatives

To make negative sentences using the verb 'to be', you only need to add 'not' after the verb.

Madrid isn't in Portugal.
They aren't married, they are divorced!
I am not very happy today.

It's common also to use contractions, using an apostrophe to replace vowels.

Examples.

We aren't.
He isn't.
They aren't.
I'm not.

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Adjectives

Adjectives in English are always singular and before the noun.

A big tree.
Three red cars.
I want a large red apple.

There are complex rules that determine adjective order. The most important things to remember are:

  1. Opinion
  2. Size
  3. Age
  4. Color
  5. Material
  6. Nationality

Examples.

A large green tree.
A magnificent blue Italian vase.
A terrible Swedish movie.

An old blue wooden chair.

Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives
I
You
He
She
It
We
You
They
Me
You
Him
Her
It
Us
You
Them
My
Your
His
Her
Its
Our
Your
Their

Subject Pronouns

We use before a verb:

I live in Italy.
We go to the cinema every Saturday.
They don't speak English.

Object Pronouns

We use after a verb, as a verb's object.

I like him.
We speak to them every day.
He told us in the morning.

Possessive Adjectives

We use to show possession before nouns.

My name is James.
His car is blue.
Our house is in Liguria Street.

Question Words

We use different question words in English to ask different types of questions, questions about people, times, places, etc.

The words can also be used alone to make informal questions:

Q: I love this TV show.
A: Why?

Q: I have to see my mother.
A: When?

Here are the most common question words in English:

Question Word Meaning
Why
When
Which
How
Whose
What
Where
Who
Asking about a reason
Asking about a time
Asking about a choice
Asking about manner
Asking about an owner
Asking about a thing
Asking about a place
Asking about a person

Examples:

Why do you study so much?
When do you go on vacation? July?
Which pizza do you want tonight?
How do you change a car wheel?
Whose dog is this?
What is your address?
Where is the party tonight?
Who is your favorite movie actor?

"Have" Expressions

Have, like To Be and To Do, is a very powerful and flexible verb in English.

It's used in many tenses in English, such as the Present Perfect and the Past Perfect.

There are also many expressions that use "to have".

Have a chat - speak with somebody.
Have a rest - relax.
Have a fight - argue with somebody.

And we also use "have + noun" to make other expressions.

Have a drink of water if you are feeling thirsty.
I had a swim after breakfast.

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