English Verbs: ‘To be’ and ‘to have’ exercises
Of all the English verbs, the most important two are ‘to be’ and ‘to have’. They are important because we use them as verbs for many different situations, and also as auxiliary verbs, so naturally they are the first verbs you learn. At Wall Street English, you learn how to use the main functions of ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ in the first levels, and then gradually learn all the uses step by step throughout the course. Let’s take a look at each verb and see how you can use them.
The Verb To Be
The verb ‘to be’ is the first verb we all learn to use. Why? Because it is used in many ways. We use ‘to be’ to:
So you can see how important it is. Let’s start by looking at how to form the verb ‘to be’.
The verb ‘to be’ is an irregular verb, and even In the present simple it has three different forms – am, are and is:
As you can see, there are also contracted forms of the verb ‘to be’ which we frequently use in spoken English and in informal writing.
To make the negative form in the present simple, we add ‘not’. This can also be contracted to make ‘aren’t’ or ‘isn’t’:
To make questions with the verb ‘to be’, we invert the subject and the verb:
The irregular past forms of the verb ‘to be’ are as follows:
Uses of ‘to be’
giving and asking about personal data: name, age, origin, address, etc. For example:
Describing your state and how you feel. For example:
Describing people, places, and things. For example:
Continuous tenses which describe progressive actions and situations in the past, present and future. For example:
Passive sentences which focus attention on the object of an action, in the present, past and future. For example:
The Verb To Have
The verb ‘to have’ is very common in English because it is used as a verb in several situations, and is also an important auxiliary verb. ‘To have’ can mean:
Like the verb ‘to be’, the verb ‘to have’ is an irregular verb. Here is the structure:
To make the negative form we add ‘don’t/doesn’t’ as we do with all other verbs, except the verb ‘to be’.
To make questions we use ‘do/does’:
The past form of ‘to have’ is also irregular:
Uses of ‘to have’
To describe things you own and possess. For example:
To substitute ‘eat’ and ‘drink’. For example:
When you take or receive something
Make something happen
Used as an auxiliary verb to make perfect tenses, such as the present perfect and the past perfect
When we refer to things we own and possess, a common alternative to ‘have’ is ‘have got’. It’s probably more common in British English than in American English and can be considered more informal. The meaning is the same but the formation of the structure changes for the questions and negatives.
The negative for ‘have got’ is created using ‘not’:
The question form is created by inverting the subject and ‘have’:
Here are some examples of ‘have got’: