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English definition of “be”


auxiliary verb [+ -ing verb] (CONTINUE)    strong /biː/ weak /bi/ // (being, was, were, been)
A2 used with the present participle of other verbs to describe actions that are or were still continuing: I'm still eating. She's studying to be a lawyer. The audience clearly wasn't enjoying the show. You're always complaining. I'll be coming back (= I plan to come back) on Tuesday. 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 more
(Definition of be auxiliary verb (CONTINUE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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