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Verb to be (the Present Simple Tense)

Positive and Negative Forms

I am from Russia I’m = I am
He/She/It is He’s/She’s/It’s = He/She/It is
We You They are We’re = We are You’re = You are They’re = They are
I am not from Russia I’mnot = I am not
He/She/It is He/She/It isn’t = He/She/It is not
We You They are We aren’t = We are not You aren’t = You are not They aren’t = They are not

NOTE:Look at the negative forms:She isn’t married. You aren’t British.

BUT:I’m not a schoolboy.

Exercise 1. Write the short form (she’s/ we aren’t, etc.).

1. He is 4. I am not
2. They are 5. It is
3. She is not 6. You are not

Exercise 2. Write the full form (she is/ we are not, etc.).


1. We aren’t 4. They aren’t
2. I’m 5. It isn’t
3. You’re 6. She’s

Exercise 3. Put in am/am not/is/isn’t/are/aren’t.

  1. I ___ from Russia.
  2. Debbie and Mark ___ British. They ___ German.
  3. My friends ___ interested in computers.
  4. His parents ___ around 40.
  5. How old ___ you? I ___ 18.
  6. London ___ situated on the river Evans. It ___ situated on the river Thames.
  7. I ___ keen on sports. But I ___ rather good at basketball.
  8. Her name ___ Jane. It ___ Helen.

Exercise 4. Write true sentences, positive or negative. Use am/am not/is/isn’t/are/aren’t.

  1. I/keen on Biology.
  2. Rome/in Spain.
  3. We/Russian.
  4. Football/a popular sport in Britain.
  5. The “Beatles” and “Deep Purple” famous British groups.
  6. American English/different from British English.
  7. My hobbies/art and music.


General questions

Am I a student? —Yes, I am. / No, I am not.
Is he/she/it a student? —Yes, he/she/it is. / No, he/she/it isn’t.
Are we you they students? —Yes, we are. / No, we aren’t. —Yes, you are. / No, you aren’t. —Yes, they are. / No, they aren’t.

Exercise 5. Make general questions with these words. Give short answers.

1. your mother/at work?

2. her children/at home?

3. he/from Italy?

4. I/good at English?

5. you/interested in books?

6. I/right?

7. this subject/difficult?

Exercise 6. Give short answers (Yes, I am/No, he isn’t, etc.).

  1. Are your parents old?
  2. Are all your school friends students now?
  3. Is English difficult?
  4. Is your home town small?
  5. Are you interested in music?
  6. Is your friend good at languages?

Alternative questions

Am I your friend or not? —Yes, you are/No, you aren’t.
Is he/she Spanish or Italian? —He/She is Italian.
it difficult or easy? — It’s difficult.
Are we in the city centre or on the outskirts? — You are on the outskirts.
you a student or a schoolboy? — I’m a student.
they at home or at work? —They are at work.


Exercise 7. Ask alternative questions with the following words. Give answers.

Example: You/a student/a schoolboy?— Are you a student or a schoolboy? — I’m a student.


  1. He/in Moscow/in Kiev?
  2. Alan and Henry/students/teachers?
  3. Your new friends/sociable/not?
  4. His daughter/17/18?
  5. Your parents/old/young?
  6. Russia/a big/a small country?
  7. They/designers/artists?

Special questions

What is her job? — She’s a shop assistant.
Where are you from? — From Germany.
Who is John? — He’s their son.
How are you? — Not bad, thanks.
How old is he? — Eighteen.
What is your father like? — He’s sociable and very clever.
What kind of (books) is he fond of? — Historical books.
Why are you late? — My watch is wrong.
Whose (friend) is Mary? — She’s my friend.
What colour is our flag? — It’s white, blue and red.

Exercise 8. Ask and answer questions.

Example: What colour is a banana?— It’s yellow.

What colour are your trousers? — They’re black.

What colour is/are the sun?
the snow?
ambulances in Moscow?
the traffic lights?
the sky?
a Christmas tree?

Exercise 9. Complete the sentences.

Example:Where are my books? — On the table.


  1. __ __ __ that clock?
About a hundred years old.
  1. __ __ Paul from?
Denmark, I think.
  1. __ __ your favourite subject?
  1. __ __ he so happy?
Because it’s his birthday.
  1. __ __ __ the car?
It’s black.
  1. __ __ that man in the car?
My brother.
  1. __ __ __ music __ you fond of?
Rock music.
  1. __ __ the banks closed today?
Because it’s Sunday.


Exercise 10. Ask the questions.

Example: What is your name?— My name’s Mark.


  1. ___________________ ?
— Her name’s Pam.
  1. ___________________ ?
— No, my mother isn’t very young.
  1. ___________________ ?
— Yes, it is Frank Ellis.
  1. ___________________ ?
— No, I’m not Diana. I’m Ann.
  1. ___________________ ?
— No, it isn’t Ronald. It’s Gerald.
  1. ___________________ ?
— 14 King Street, London.
  1. ___________________ ?
— 805-9866
  1. ___________________ ?
— My shoes are black.
  1. ___________________ ?
— Olga is very kind.
  1. ___________________ ?
— Sue is fond of pop music and jazz.

Tag questions

I am a genius, aren’t I? — Yes, I am. / No, I am not.
He is a teenager, isn’t he? — Yes, he is. / No, he isn’t.
She a Londoner, she? — Yes, she is. / No, she isn’t.
It far from here, it? — Yes, it is. / No, it isn’t.
We are in the city centre, aren’t we? — Yes, we are. / No, we aren’t.
You you? — Yes, you are. / No, you aren’t.
They they? — Yes, they are. / No, they aren’t.
I am not a schoolboy, am I? — No, I am not. / Yes, I am.
He isn’t married, is he? — No, he isn’t. / Yes, he is.
She at home, she? — No, she isn’t. / Yes, she is.
It easy, it? — No, it isn’t. / Yes, it is.
We aren’t old, are we? — No, we aren’t. / Yes, we are.
You you? — No, you aren’t. / Yes, you are.
They they? — No, they aren’t. / Yes, they are.

Exercise 11. Give the correct tag to these sentences.

1. Your mother is thirty-seven years old, ___?

  1. It’s her birthday today, ___?
  2. I’m not in class now, ___?
  3. You aren’t married, ___?
  4. They are Russian, ___?
  5. I’m fond of hard rock, ___?
  6. Alice isn’t very friendly, ___?


Exercise 12. Ask questions about the information in italics.

Example: My mother is 50. — How old is your mother?

1. I’m from a small town in the South of Russia.

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