Lesson 4 - To Be


In this lesson you'll learn how to use the very common English verb be. You'll also learn the English pronouns, possessive adjectives, and how to use contractions.


City Street

Eric and Ashley are walking to a restaurant for lunch. On the way they see Eric's friend Tom.

Eric: Hi Tom. How's it going?

Tom: Good.

Eric: This is Ashley. She is from London.

Tom: Nice to meet you Ashley.

Ashley: Nice to meet you too. Are you hungry? We're going for lunch.

Tom: I'm hungry, but I have to go back to work. Maybe I'll see you later.

Ashley: Bye.

Eric: Let's go. John is already there.

Vocabulary and Phrases

On the way they see Eric's friend Tom.
How's it going?
This is Ashley. She is from London.
Nice to meet you.
Are you hungry?
I'm hungry.
We're going for lunch.
Let's go.
I have to go back to work.
I'll see you later.



Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns in a sentence. Pronouns are a very important part of the English language, so be sure to take the time to learn them.

There are three types of pronouns in English: subject, object, and possessive.

Possessive Adjectives are used in front of a noun to show who the noun belongs to. Possessive pronouns are pronouns that indicate ownership. They can be used to replace a possessive adjective and its noun. For example: It is my cup. It is mine. The cup is mine.

The pronoun you is used when referring to a single person as well as multiple people. Its subject and object forms are the same. You is used in both formal and informal situations.

Subject Object Poss. Adj. Poss. Pronoun
I me my mine
you you your yours
he him his his
she her her hers
it it its its
we us our ours
they them their theirs

Reflexive Pronouns

A reflexive pronoun is used as the object when the subject and object are the same person. The expression by + reflexive pronoun means alone. Example: Anna lives by herself.

The following table shows the English reflexive pronouns.

Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun
I myself
you yourself
she herself
he himself
it itself
one oneself
we ourselves
they themselves


Sound I pour myself a glass of juice.
Sound Mark blames himself for the accident.
Sound Brad and Tammy can't finish the work by themselves.

To Be

The verb be is very common in English. It is also the most irregular verb in the English language. It is used to describe or indicate the state of a person or object. It is also used to indicate that two concepts are the same or equal.

I am
you are
he is
she is
it is
we are
they are


A contraction is a shortened version of a word, or a group of words. Contractions are indicated by an apostrophe.

The English language has many contractions. Contractions are very common with pronouns and the verb be. The following table shows the contractions between pronouns and be.

I am I'm
you are you're
he is he's
she is she's
it is it's
we are we're
they are they're


Where are you?
Where is she?
We're here.
He's on his way.
She is thirsty.
I'm hungry.
I saw him.
We saw her.
He saw them.
You are late.
They are angry.
This is my friend.
The house is ours.
The sky is blue.
That is my shirt.
That is your cup.
Their cups are empty.


Play the audio, then write the English word or sentence that you hear. Press the Check button to see if your answers are correct.



Here is an online quiz to help you learn the English vocabulary introduced in this lesson.

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