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English definition of “be”

be

verb (DESCRIPTION)    strong /biː/ weak /bi/ // (being, was, were, been)
A1 [L] used to say something about a person , thing, or state , to show a permanent or temporary quality , state , job , etc.: He is rich . It's cold today. I'm Andy. That's all for now. What do you want to be (= what job do you want to do) when you grow up? These books are (= cost ) £3 each. Being afraid of the dark , she always slept with the light on. Never having been ill himself, he wasn't a sympathetic listener . Be quiet ! Do be quiet ! [+ -ing verb] The problem is decid ing what to do. [+ to infinitive] The hardest part will be to find a replacement . [+ that] The general feeling is that she should be asked to leave . It's not that I don't like her - it's just that we rarely agree on anything!Existing and being A1 [I usually + adv/prep] used to show the position of a person or thing in space or time : The food was already on the table . Is anyone there? The meeting is now (= will happen ) next Tuesday . There's a hair in my soup .Existing and being [L] used to show what something is made of: Is this plate pure gold ?Comprising and consisting ofIncluding and containing Grammar:Modal expressions with beThere are a number of expressions with be which have modal meanings, for example, be to, be able to, be allowed to, be supposed to:Grammar:Be as an auxiliary verbBe is one of three auxiliary verbs in English: be, do and have. We use be to make the continuous form and the passive voice: Grammar:Be: typical errorsGrammar:Be expressions (be able to, be due to)Grammar:Be about toBe about to is used to talk about things which are going to happen very soon:Grammar:Be able toGrammar:Be due toBe due to is used to talk about things that are expected or planned to happen at a certain time. We often use it with a time expression:Grammar:Be likely toBe likely to is used to talk about how probable things are:Grammar:Be meant toBe meant to is used to talk about what is desirable, expected or intended:Grammar:Be supposed toBe supposed to is used to talk about obligations and arrangements:Grammar:Been or gone?We often use been to, instead of gone to, when we refer to completed visits to a place:Grammar:BeGrammar:Be: formsBe is an irregular verb with several forms:Grammar:Be: usesWe use be as a main verb and an auxiliary verb.Grammar:Be as a main verbBe as a main verb has a number of meanings.
(Definition of be verb (DESCRIPTION) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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