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English definition of “be”


verb (FUTURE)    strong /biː/ weak /bi/ // (being, was, were, been)
[+ to infinitive] formal used to show that something will happen in the future: We are to (= we are going to) visit Australia in the spring. She was never to see (= she never saw) her brother again.Describing when something happened or will happen [+ to infinitive] used in conditional sentences to say what might happen: If I were to refuse they'd be very annoyed.formal Were I to refuse they'd be very annoyed. 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:See moreGrammar: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: See moreGrammar:Be: typical errorsSee moreGrammar:Be expressions (be able to, be due to)See moreGrammar:Be about toBe about to is used to talk about things which are going to happen very soon:See moreGrammar:Be able toSee moreGrammar: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:See moreGrammar:Be likely toBe likely to is used to talk about how probable things are:See moreGrammar:Be meant toBe meant to is used to talk about what is desirable, expected or intended:See moreGrammar:Be supposed toBe supposed to is used to talk about obligations and arrangements:See moreGrammar:BeSee moreGrammar:Be: formsBe is an irregular verb with several forms:See moreGrammar:Be: usesWe use be as a main verb and an auxiliary verb.See moreGrammar:Be as a main verbBe as a main verb has a number of meanings.See moreGrammar:+ In formal situations, we can use if + were to when we talk about things that might happen but which we think are unlikely:See more
(Definition of be verb (FUTURE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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