Am, Are, or Is??

[It’s been a while since I wrote a language post, so I thought I’d do a new one today. 🙂 ]

As an English student, it can be challenging to speak and write correctly.  All three of these words (Am, Are, and Is) are taken from the root word: be.  Be is a verb (verb = action word).  It means “to exist” “(to be) present” “occur; take place.”  It is also used to form continuous tenses when used with a verb ending in -ing (present participle).  [For example: He will be reading.  They are coming.  She will be waiting.]  Also, when used with a verb typically ending in -ed (past participle) it forms the passive mood.  [Examples: His book will be published.  This case will be looked into.  I will be hired.]  Enough about the word “Be”.  How do we decide which word to use??

Here are the basic rules for these words (all are *present tense).

I am.  You are.  They are. We are.  He is.  She is.  It is. The ____ is.(animal, object, or Title of a person). [Title = boy, girl, Manager, mom, dad, sister, brother, etc… anything that replaces the name of a person.]

You can then use these simple sentences to make more complex ones.

“I am reading.”  “You are learning.”  “They are walking.”  “We are talking.”  “He is driving.”  “She is cooking.”  “It is running.”  “The cat is hiding.”

“I am reading a magazine.”  “You are learning English.”  “They are walking to the grocery store.”  “We are talking about music.”  “He is driving on a racetrack.”  “She is cooking rice.”  “It is running in a circle.”  “The cat is hiding in the box.”

* Present tense = Something that is happening now.  For example: right now you are reading this blog. 😉



  1. Alaina Lee said,

    November 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Very interesting!! I learned this same thing last year while taking latin. It’s funny how studying another language can help us make sense of our own! :p

    • Myrh17 said,

      November 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, that is an added bonus I’ve found in studying other languages (learning our own language rules). 🙂

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