Posted by: Idioma Extra | November 23, 2011

Thursday Tidbits – Common Mistakes with the Verb To Be


Thursday Tidbits – Common Mistakes with the Verb To Be

Common Mistakes with the Verb To Be

In every language “to be” is one of the most common verbs. It is also one of the most difficult to use correctly. Here are some common mistakes often made with the English verb “to be.”

Common Mistakes:

Using to be when another verb should be used

Incorrect: I am agree.

Correct: I agree.

Explanation: In English, to agree is a verb, so we can use it as the main verb in the sentence.

Using to have in place of to be

Incorrect: I have 45 years. She has hungry.

Correct: I am 45 years old. She is hungry.

Explanation: When discussing ages or feelings, English uses to be. Both of these examples show adjectives describing the subject, and with adjectives we use to be.

Check yourself

Choose the correct option in the following sentences.

  1. I (am/have/no verb) 13 years old.
  2. I (am/have/no verb) a turtle. He (is/has/no verb) 100 years old.
  3. I (am/have/no verb) so happy, that you (are/have/no verb) agree with me.
  4. I (haven’t/am not/no verb) eaten in hours. I (am/verb/no verb) hungry.
  5. I (have/am/no verb) a friend named Sally and she (is/has/no verb) 32 years old.

 Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

  1. I (have work/have been working/am working) for five years.
  2. Susie (has go/is going/has been going) to the same gym since 1992.
  3. Harry (ran/ has been running) for 2 hours! I hope he stops soon.
  4. My friend (has been reading/read) the same book for five months. She reads slowly.
  5. Yesterday Mary (worked/has been working) for five hours before she ate lunch.
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