beryllium, Be, glucinium, atomic number
(noun) a light strong brittle grey toxic bivalent metallic element
(verb) spend or use time; “I may be an hour”
(verb) work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function; “He is a herpetologist”; “She is our resident philosopher”
(verb) have an existence, be extant; “Is there a God?”
(verb) have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); “John is rich”; “This is not a good answer”
(verb) have life, be alive; “Our great leader is no more”; “My grandfather lived until the end of war”
(verb) be identical to; be someone or something; “The president of the company is John Smith”; “This is my house”
constitute, represent, make up, comprise, be
(verb) form or compose; “This money is my only income”; “The stone wall was the backdrop for the performance”; “These constitute my entire belonging”; “The children made up the chorus”; “This sum represents my entire income for a year”; “These few men comprise his entire army”
(verb) occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; “Where is my umbrella?”; “The toolshed is in the back”; “What is behind this behavior?”
(verb) be identical or equivalent to; “One dollar equals 1,000 rubles these days!”
embody, be, personify
(verb) represent, as of a character on stage; “Derek Jacobi was Hamlet”
(verb) be priced at; “These shoes cost $100”
(verb) happen, occur, take place; “I lost my wallet; this was during the visit to my parents’ house”; “There were two hundred people at his funeral”; “There was a lot of noise in the kitchen”
Source: WordNet® 3.1
(intransitive, now, literary) To exist; to have real existence, to be alive.
(with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
(intransitive) To occupy a place.
(intransitive) To occur, to take place.
(intransitive, in perfect tenses, without predicate) Elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar.
(transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject and object are the same.
(transitive, copulative, mathematics) Used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
(transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject is an instance of the predicate nominal.
(transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject plays the role of the predicate nominal.
(transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by an adjective.
(transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
(transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the passive voice.
(transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses.
(, auxiliary) Used to form the perfect aspect with certain intransitive verbs; this was more common in archaic use, especially with verbs indicating motion. "He is finished", and "He is gone" are common, but "He is come" is archaic.
(formal, transitive, auxiliary) Used to express future action as well as what is due to, intended to, or should happen.
(transitive, copulative) Used to link a subject to a measurement.
(transitive, copulative, with a cardinal numeral) Used to state the age of a subject in years.
(with a dummy subject it) Used to indicate the time of day.
(With since) Used to indicate passage of time since the occurrence of an event.
(rare and regional, chiefly, in the past tense) Used to link two noun clauses, the first of which is a day of the week, recurring date, month, or other specific time (on which the event of the main clause took place), and the second of which is a period of time indicating how long ago that day was. [from 15th c.]
(often, impersonal, with it as a dummy subject) Used to indicate weather, air quality, or the like.
(dynamic / lexical "be", especially in progressive tenses, conjugated non-suppletively in the present tense, see usage notes) To exist or behave in a certain way.
(African-American Vernacular, Caribbean, auxiliary, not conjugated) To tend to do, often do; marks the habitual aspect.
• When used copulatively with a pronoun, traditional grammar puts the pronoun in the subjective case (I, he, she, we, they) rather than the objective case (me, him, her, us, them), regardless of which side of the copula it is placed. For example, “I was the masked man” and “The masked man was I” would both be considered correct, while “The masked man was me” and “Me was the masked man” would both be incorrect. However, most colloquial speech treats the verb be as transitive, in which case the pronoun is used in the objective case if it occurs after the copula: “I was the masked man” but “The masked man was me”. This paradigm applies even if the copula is linking two pronouns; thus “I am her” and “She is me", and “Am I me?” (versus the traditional “I am she”, “She is I”, “Am I I?”).
• With the exception of senses 12, 13, and 22, this is generally a stative verb that rarely takes the continuous inflection. See
*Some non-standard dialects use were in these instances.
**Some non-standard dialects use was in these instances.
*Some non-standard dialects will have were in these instances.
**Some non-standard dialects will have was in these instances.
***Subject pronoun is optional.
• The verb be is the most irregular non-defective verb in Standard English. Unlike other verbs, which distinguish at most five forms (as in do–does–doing–did–done), be distinguishes many more
Be itself is the plain form, used as the infinitive, as the imperative, and as the present subjunctive (though many speakers do not distinguish the present indicative and present subjunctive, using the indicative forms for both).
Am, are, and is are the forms of the present indicative. Am is the first-person singular (used with I); is is the third-person singular (used with he, she, it and other subjects that would be used with does rather than do); and are is both the second-person singular and the plural (used with we, you, they, and any other plural subjects).
Was and were are the forms of the past indicative and past subjunctive (like did). In the past indicative, was is the first– and third-person singular (used with I, as well as with he, she, it and other subjects that would be used with does rather than do), and were is both the second-person singular and the plural (used with we, you, they, and any other plural subjects). In the traditional past subjunctive, were is used with all subjects, though many speakers do not actually distinguish the past subjunctive from the past indicative, and therefore use was with first– and third-person singular subjects even in cases where other speakers would use were.
Being is the gerund and present participle, used in noun-like constructions, in the progressive aspect, and after various verbs (like doing). (It’s also used as an actual noun; for those senses, see the entry for being itself.)
Been is the past participle, used in the perfect aspect. In Middle English, it was also the infinitive.
• In archaic or obsolete forms of English, with the pronoun thou, the verb be has a few additional forms
When the pronoun thou was in regular use, the forms art, wast, and wert were the corresponding present indicative, past indicative, and past subjunctive, respectively.
As thou became less common and more highly marked, a special present-subjunctive form beest developed (replacing the regular present subjunctive form be, still used with all other subjects). Additionally, the form wert, previously a past subjunctive form, came to be used as a past indicative as well.
• The forms am, is, and are can contract with preceding subjects: I’m, ’s, ’re. The form are most commonly contracts with personal pronouns (we’re, you’re, they’re), but contractions with other subjects is possible; the form is contracts quite freely with a variety of subjects. These contracted forms, however, are possible only when there is an explicit, non-preposed complement, and they cannot be stressed; therefore, contraction does not occur in sentences such as the following
• Several of the finite forms of be have special negative forms, containing the suffix -n’t, that can be used instead of adding the adverb not. Specifically, the forms is, are, was, and were have the negative forms isn’t, aren’t, wasn’t, and weren’t. The form be itself does not, even in finite uses, with “not be” being used in the present subjunctive and “do not be” or “don’t be” (or, in dated use, “be not”) being used in the imperative. The form am has the negative forms aren’t, amn’t, and arguably ain’t, but all of these are in restricted use; see their entries for details.
• Outside of Standard English, there is some variation in usage of some forms; some dialects, for example, use is or ’s throughout the present indicative (supplanting, in whole or in part, am and are), and/or was throughout the past indicative and past subjunctive (supplanting were).
• (to exist): See also exist
• (used to form passive): get
(dialectal, possibly, dated) Alternative form of by. Also found in compounds, especially oaths, e.g. begorra.
BE (countable and uncountable, plural BEs)
Bachelor of Engineering.
(linguistics) Initialism of Black English.
Initialism of Buddhist Era.
Abbreviation of Berlin, a federal state of Germany.
Abbreviation of Bengkulu, a province of Indonesia.
5 December 2022
(adjective) unhurried and with care and dignity; “walking at the same measured pace”; “with all deliberate speed”
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