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Section 14

The verb To Be


Strange but true: some languages do not use the verb To Be, like Russian or Indonesian, for instance. But we have chosen to have a picto for To Be although we know it is a rather peculiar verb. Contrary to other verbs, To Be does not express any action.

This is why we represent it by a sitting figure:


Quite often we use the verb To Be to express an attribute. For instance, when we say "She is strong" or "He is a man". In such cases we cannot use

because all we want is to have a link between Woman and Strong or between He and Man. The simplest way to express it is with the picto , a human figure pointing to both sides, so as to link one with the other. Let's see some examples:


The verb TO BE as an Auxiliary verb

The verb To Be in its static form ( ) is never used as an auxiliary verb. Just by looking at the picto we can see that it implies no movement, therefore to write I was working , like:, would be wrong. We may convey these meanings with the Continuous tense and the Gerund (,).


When the subject of the sentence is not doing some action because he is passive, then we can use the
picto , as it happens in the Passive Voice:



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