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Unit 2 Grammar

1. Present Simple Negatives - Verb "to be"

Present Simple negatives and questions using the verb "to be"are formed differently from other questions. To make negatives you simply insert "not" before the verb "to be".

- Statement: You are a doctor.
- Negative: You are not a doctor.
- Statement: They are cats.
- Negative: They are not cats.

Here is the negative form of the verb "to be" in the Simple Present:


I am not

You are not

He is not

She is not

It is not


We are not

You are not

They are not

2. Present Simple Questions

To make questions you simply invert the subject and the verb.

- Statement: You are a doctor.
- Question: Are you a doctor?
- Statement: They are cats.
- Question: Are they cats?

Simple Present Question verbs are as follows:


Am I (a teacher) ?

Are you ...?

Is he ...?

Is she ...?

Is it ...?


Are we ...?

Are you ...?

Are they ...?

3. Short Answers

We can often answer these questions with a short answer using the verb "to be". For example:
- Are you a teacher?
- Yes, I am / No, I am not.

- Is he a student?
- Yes, he is. / No, he is not.

Note that in spoken English we usually use contractions with the negative form. For example:
- No, I am not = No, I'm not.
These contractions will be studied in a later Unit.

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