verb (singular present am /am/ /əm/; are /ɑː/ /ə/; is /ɪz/; plural present are; first and third singular past was /wɒz/ /wəz/; second singular past and plural past were /wəː/ /wə/; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive were; present participle being; past participle been /biːn/ /bɪn/)
- Yet he had a habit of asking awkward questions to which there were no easy answers.
- He added that there is a possibility of the museum being housed in the new heritage centre once it is completed.
- There was a form of Hebrew that existed before they were conquered.
- The meeting will be in Washington on Tuesday.
- The party is on Friday and in about half an hour we're going to buy the booze.
- That visit, of course, will be in December.
- I made us something to eat while she was in the shower.
- The small bottle of sleeping pills was on the sideboard by the lamp.
- He had been in Richmond to attend a concert held at one of the local community centres.
- He's been in his room all day.
- They showed up at about 11:00am, and they were there until 5:00pm that evening.
- They were at the scene for 90 minutes, helping to free the victims and clear the road.
- Don't worry, I'll be there tomorrow.
- She's been to business school, and is now a bookkeeper.
- I am at Oxford University and am struggling to decide whether to consider further studies in the US or at Cambridge.
- I had only been to Italy as a child and Richard had been twice before and he loved it.
- The last three years we've been touring all around Europe and we have even been to Brazil twice.
- They have been there twice before but hope this time they will make it third time lucky.
- Her father was an art teacher and she went to sixth form in the school where he taught.
- His work in this area was considerable, including studies into the nature of history.
- All the incidents were of a violent nature and included attacks by door staff on customers.
- If x is the perpendicular distance from the shore to the target, y is the distance from the point on the shore opposite the target to the point at which the dog plunges into the water.
- In the allegory, the Scarecrow is the farmers and the Tin Woodman is the urban working class.
- In this story, the owner of the vineyard is God, the keeper of the vineyard is Jesus, and the tree represents God's children.
- The house was one large room with a fireplace which served as living room, kitchen and general quarters.
- The temple is a number of buildings surrounding this man-made pool where devotees gather around and bathe themselves to purify and cure of any sickness.
- Her bed was a wooden slat, shared with nine people.
- I have been reading many letters with regards to Gravesend and Dartford and how bad they are.
- I have been reading this newspaper regularly for years and have never written in before.
- A fourth male is believed to have been waiting outside in a white Ford Transit van.
- A couple of weeks ago a book was published in America that elaborated on exactly this theme.
- A man with a laugh in his voice recounted how he was shot down, landing in a field in his shirt and tie.
- His voice was drowned by the shattering roar of a jet plane passing over the chimney pot.
- I was to meet up with my two travelling companions in an open air restaurant on edge of Timbuctou.
- The two clubs were to meet at Lismore in a match many considered a grand final preview.
- They were to meet in a restaurant and pose as two friends trying to patch up some hard times.
- The rest were to follow in alphabetical order.
- The goods or chattels are to remain in the custody of the bailiffs for twenty days.
- They were to do whatever they felt necessary or advisable to fulfil that function.
- She was to be found here too.
- Neither a dialling nor an engaged tone was to be heard, only the sound of a line that had been pulled.
- Monkeys are to be found around the crop growing and savanna areas.
- If I were to order costs, that is a point that counsel could take before the costs judge.
- If I were to keep a reading diary like this, what would my twelve favourite books be?
- If you were to meet me at a party I would not talk about myself in any great depth and I had no intention of doing so on the web.
For a discussion of whether it is correct to say that must be he at the door and it is I rather than that must be him at the door and it is me, see personal pronoun (usage).
- As someone or something was previously called: former Sex Pistol John Lydon (Rotten, as was)More example sentences
- He was very friendly and turned out to have gone to the London College of Communication (or London School of Printing, as was) himself, which is always useful when arranging work experience.
- I was in Yugoslavia, as was, at the time.
the be-all and end-all
- informal A feature of an activity or a way of life that is of greater importance than any other: is food and comfort the be-all and end-all?More example sentences
- A lot of people see speed cameras as the be-all and end-all of traffic management.
- ‘I wanted to show that having a husband and children isn't the be-all and end-all, it's not nirvana either personally or otherwise’.
- I still love acting but it's not the be-all and end-all any more.
- informal Be doing or trying to do: what are you at there?More example sentences
- ‘So, what are you at now?’ I asked, just for conversation's sake.
- What is he at, opening his bloody mouth in the first place?
- The question is just what are they at now?
- [often in imperative] Go away; leave: be off with you!More example sentences
- I've just had a call to say that things have moved on a bit, so we might be off again tomorrow morning.
- And now be off with you, for I am going to sleep.
- As usual I was keen to be off so we arrived at the bus station with 15 minutes to wait for the bus up to the airport.
- Act naturally, according to one’s character and instincts: I want him to have the confidence to be himselfMore example sentences
- So I just had to be myself, unless the character demanded something outside of my own personality.
- By just being myself I naturally attract the type of people I would otherwise want to attract and repel the people I would otherwise want to repel.
- The result is a satisfying motion picture that wins its audience over because the characters are allowed to be themselves.
been (or been and gone) and——
- British informal Used to express surprise or annoyance at someone’s actions: they’ve been and carted Mum off to hospitalMore example sentences
- He's only been and gone again - I don't suppose you could get round there and tell him to get back could you?
- Well I've only been and gone and done it!
- I've been and gone and caught another chill
been there, done that
- see there.
be that as it may
- see may1.
- Not feel in one’s usual physical or mental state: I’m not myself this morningMore example sentences
- Funny things were happening to me and I was simply not myself.
- With his head down, he was positively not himself this morning.
- For that matter, you were not yourself yesterday, and you will not be tomorrow.
not to be
- Not destined to come about: everyone wanted a happy ending, but it was not to beMore example sentences
- I have always wanted a brother but it was not to be.
- I'm sure Denis would much prefer to be going in to Sunday's match on the back of a win but it was not to be.
- Hopes had been high that this could be the year for them to stamp their class on the competition but it was not to be.
were it not for (or if it were not for)
- Used in forming a clause expressing that a specified person or thing prevented a particular outcome: were it not for the strikes, we would have seen much better results I would have had fun on the vacation were it not for thisMore example sentences
- Regardless of where she studies, it would be impossible were it not for financial aid.
- The inclusion of picking locks could've been a great feature of the game, were it not for the fact that it becomes so incredibly easy that you can sleepwalk through every door and chest.
- We would not have made the progress we've made were it not for the support of the president.
Old English bēon, an irregular and defective verb, whose full conjugation derives from several originally distinct verbs. The forms am and is are from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sum and est. The forms was and were are from an Indo-European root meaning 'remain'. The forms be and been are from an Indo-European root shared by Latin fui 'I was', fio 'I become', and Greek phuein 'bring forth, cause to grow'. The origin of are is uncertain.