English: be

English verb 'be' conjugated in all tenses

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Nominal Forms

Infinitive: to be
Participle: been
Gerund: being

Indicative

Present

Iam
youare
he;she;itis
weare
youare
theyare

Perfect

Ihave been
youhave been
he;she;ithas been
wehave been
youhave been
theyhave been

Past

Iwas
youwere
he;she;itwas
wewere
youwere
theywere

Pluperfect

Ihad been
youhad been
he;she;ithad been
wehad been
youhad been
theyhad been

Future

Iwill be
youwill be
he;she;itwill be
wewill be
youwill be
theywill be

Future perfect

Iwill have been
youwill have been
he;she;itwill have been
wewill have been
youwill have been
theywill have been

Subjunctive

Present

Ibe
yoube
he;she;itbe
webe
yoube
theybe

Perfect

Ihave been
youhave been
he;she;ithave been
wehave been
youhave been
theyhave been

Imperfect

Iwere
youwere
he;she;itwere
wewere
youwere
theywere

Pluperfect

Ihad been
youhad been
he;she;ithad been
wehad been
youhad been
theyhad been

Conditional

Present

Iwould be
youwould be
he;she;itwould be
wewould be
youwould be
theywould be

Perfect

Iwould have been
youwould have been
he;she;itwould have been
wewould have been
youwould have been
theywould have been

Imperative

yoube
weLet's be
yoube

Progressive (Continuous) Forms

Indicative

Present

Iam being
youare being
he;she;itis being
weare being
youare being
theyare being

Perfect

Ihave been being
youhave been being
he;she;ithas been being
wehave been being
youhave been being
theyhave been being

Past

Iwas being
youwere being
he;she;itwas being
wewere being
youwere being
theywere being

Pluperfect

Ihad been being
youhad been being
he;she;ithad been being
wehad been being
youhad been being
theyhad been being

Future

Iwill be being
youwill be being
he;she;itwill be being
wewill be being
youwill be being
theywill be being

Future perfect

Iwill have been being
youwill have been being
he;she;itwill have been being
wewill have been being
youwill have been being
theywill have been being

Conditional

Present

Iwould be being
youwould be being
he;she;itwould be being
wewould be being
youwould be being
theywould be being

Perfect

Iwould have been being
youwould have been being
he;she;itwould have been being
wewould have been being
youwould have been being
theywould have been being

Verbs conjugated like be

be,

Additional Information

Etymology

O.E. beon, beom, bion "be, exist, come to be, become," from P.Gmc. *beo-, *beu-. Roger Lass ("Old English") describes the verb as "a collection of semantically related paradigm fragments," while Weekley calls it "an accidental conglomeration from the different Old English dial[ect]s." It is the most irregular verb in Mod.E. and the most common. Collective in all Gmc. languages, it has eight different forms in Mod.E.: BE (infinitive, subjunctive, imperative), AM (present 1st person singular), ARE (present 2nd person singular and all plural), IS (present 3rd person singular), WAS (past 1st and 3rd persons singular), WERE (past 2nd person singular, all plural; subjunctive), BEING (progressive & present participle; gerund), BEEN (perfect participle). The modern verb represents the merger of two once-distinct verbs, the "b-root" represented by be and the am/was verb, which was itself a conglomerate. The "b-root" is from PIE base *bheu-, *bhu- "grow, come into being, become," and in addition to Eng. it yielded Ger. present first and second person sing. (bin, bist, from O.H.G. bim "I am," bist "thou art"), L. perf. tenses of esse (fui "I was," etc.), O.C.S. byti "be," Gk. phu- "become," O.Ir. bi'u "I am," Lith. bu'ti "to be," Rus. byt' "to be," etc. It is also behind Skt. bhavah "becoming," bhavati "becomes, happens," bhumih "earth, world." The paradigm in O.E. was:

SING.PL.
1st pres.ic eom
ic beo
we sind(on)
we beoð
2nd pres.þu eart
þu bist
ge sind(on)
ge beoð
3rd pres.he is
he bið
hie sind(on)
hie beoð
1st pret.ic wæswe wæron
2nd pret.þu wærege waeron
3rd pret.heo wæshie wæron
1st pret. subj.ic wærewe wæren
2nd pret. subj.þu wærege wæren
3rd pret. subj.Egcferð wærehie wæren


The "b-root" had no past tense in O.E., but often served as future tense of am/was. In 13c. it took the place of the infinitive, participle and imperative forms of am/was. Later its plural forms (we beth, ye ben, they be) became standard in M.E. and it made inroads into the singular (I be, thou beest, he beth), but forms of are claimed this turf in the 1500s and replaced be in the plural. For the origin and evolution of the am/was branches of this tangle, see am and was. The phrase be-all and end all is from Shakespeare ("Macbeth" I.vii.5).