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Verbs 02 - Variations of the Verb 'To Be'
Since it is cold today I am going to wear a sweater.

Verbs 02 - Variations of the Verb 'To Be'

In the previous quiz we learnt that Verbs are ‘action’ words or ‘doing’ words and they can be of different types and classifications. In this quiz we study just one verb - 'to be'.

Look at the followings sentences:

‘Since it IS a holiday today I AM going to watch a movie at the theatre.’
‘Since it WAS a holiday yesterday I WAS watching a movie at the theatre.’
‘Since it IS a holiday today they ARE going to watch a movie at the theatre.’
‘Since it WAS a holiday yesterday they WERE watching a movie at the theatre.’

The words in capitals are all variations of the verb ’TO BE.’ The verbs IS, WAS and AM are verbs that are used as finite verbs in combination with non-finite verbs. These verbs are probably the most used verbs in the English language and are usually used with the pronouns I, YOU, HE/SHE/IT, THEY and WE.

These verbs follow rules which relate to the singular or plural forms and tenses. You must have noticed that when you are referring to the present tense IS is the verb being used. When you are referring to the past tense WAS is the verb being used. Similarly, the verb AM is used with I in the present tense and WAS is also used with I in the past tense. However, when the plural THEY is used the verb changes to ARE in the present tense and to WERE in the past tense.

The TO BE verb and its variations are extremely important to read, write and speak English and it is imperative that all the variations are understood properly. A good way to learn these verbs and their usage is to practice repeatedly till you attain some level of competence. Play this quiz to learn the correct usage of these verbs - and remember, these verbs are sensitive to tenses.

1.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"This book --- mine."
Is not
Are not
Were not
Am not
The words 'This' and 'Mine' signify singular a object and subject and hence we need to use 'Is'. 'Am' is associated only with 'I' and not 'Mine'
2.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"Since it --- cold today I --- going to wear a sweater."
Is, Am
Are, Was
Am, Is
Was, Is
'Is' and 'Am' are used in the present form
3.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"The two taxi drivers --- brothers."
Is
Am not
Is not
Are not
'Is' is for singular while the sentence mentions two brothers - a plural. 'Am' is associated only with 'I'
4.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"There --- a car on the road and it --- heading towards me."
Were, Is
Is, Are
Are, Is
Is, Is
Since the subject and the object are singular, 'Are' and 'Were' cannot be used
5.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"She --- upset with her sisters as they --- going to the picnic without her."
Are, Is
Was, Were
Were, Was
Are, Were
'Was' and 'Were' are used in the past form. Also, 'She' is singular so you cannot use 'Are' or 'Were'
6.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"They --- leaving when we --- entering."
Was, Was
Is, Were
Were, Were
Am, Were
Since the pronouns are 'They' and 'We', 'Is' and 'Was' cannot be used, as they are for 'He/She/It', nor can 'Am' as it is associated with 'I'. In this sentence the verb is used as a helping verb to support the action verbs 'entering' and 'leaving'
7.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"I --- not a singer and they --- not musicians."
Were, Is
Am, Are
Is, Were
Are, Am
'Were' cannot be used with 'I' or 'They' and neither can 'Is'. 'Are' is for 'You' and plurals such as 'We' and 'They'. 'A,' is always used with 'I'
8.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"I --- a student and he --- a teacher."
Am, Is
Are, Are
Are, Am
Am, Are
Since both subjects are singular, 'Are' cannot be used. 'Am' is used only with 'I' and is not with 'He'
9.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"--- we right or --- he right?"
Was, Is
Am, Are
Is, Are
Are, Is
The first subject 'We' is plural and hence 'Was' and 'Is' cannot be used, and 'Am' is only used with 'I'. The second subject 'He' is singular so 'Are' cannot be used
10.
Fill up the blanks in the following sentence with the correct verbs.
"--- wrong in saying that India is the largest country by population?"
Am we
Are we
Were am
Are am
'Am I' would also have been a correct usage, but with 'We' 'Are' must be used in the present tense
Author:  V T Narendra

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