Posted by: Idioma Extra | February 19, 2014

Grammar Guru

Common Mistakes with the Verb To Be

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.

Using people is not, people are

Incorrect: The people is happy.

Correct: The people are happy.

Explanation: People is plural for person, and should be followed by areThis comes from a direct translation of gente, which is singular in Spanish.

Forgetting to be in the continuous or progressive tenses.

Incorrect: I going to the movies right now.

Correct: I am going to the movies right now.

Explanation: The continuous (or progressive) tenses require the verb to be, followed by the present participle (-ing) of the verb.


Now, take a short quiz.


  1. Reblogged this on So, You Think You Can Teach ESL? and commented:
    To be or not to be?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: