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.

A short conversation is included to help you learn how to speak English in everyday situations.


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

Listen Are you hungry?
Listen I'm hungry.
Listen Are you sure?
Listen Can you help me?
Listen How much is it?
Listen How's it going?
Listen Let's go.
Listen I don't like it.
Listen I found it.
Listen Look out!
Listen That's interesting.
Listen What's going on?



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
Listen I me my mine
Listen you you your yours
Listen he him his his
Listen she her her hers
Listen it it its its
Listen we us our ours
Listen 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


Listen I pour myself a glass of juice.
Listen Mark blames himself for the accident.
Listen 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.

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


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