To be or not to be

The English verb “to be”  as translated into  Spanish is ser and estar and into French is être .  It is the most basic verb in English and you cannot do without it.  Here is the “conjugation” of the verb:

Present tense                                              Past tense

I am                                                                  I was

You are                                                           You were

He/she/it is                                                   He/she/it was

We are                                                             we/they were

They are

A general rule to help you to know when to use the correct form of the verb in the present tense is to memorize this maxim “singular subject, singular verb but plural subject,plural verb.”

The subject of a sentence in English  describes  the person, place, thing, or idea that is doing or being something.  The other part of the sentence (The predicate)  describes the action [what].  Hence this example: John, Mary and Catherine  were in the school yard yesterday.  The subject [John and Catherine] is plural the verb  [were] must be plural as well.

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