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definition of the word be

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
had you not #19: be at by on

Originated before 900 from Middle English been < Old English beon, from beo + -n, infinitive suffix. Irregular forms inherited from the Old English compound verb bēon-wesan.

be (highly irregular)

  1. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
    The cup is on the table.
  2. (intransitive) To occur, to take place.
    When will the meeting be?
  3. (intransitive, without predicate) To exist.
  4. (intransitive, without predicate) elliptical form of for "be here", "go to and return from" or similar.
    The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come.
    I have been to Spain many times.
  5. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject and object are the same.
    Ignorance is bliss.
  6. (transitive, copulative, mathematics) Used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
    3 times 5 is fifteen.
  7. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject plays the role of the predicate nominal.
    François Mitterrand was president of France from 1981 to 1995.
  8. (transitive, copulative) Used to connect a noun to an adjective that describes it.
    The sky is blue.
  9. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
    The sky is a deep blue today.
  10. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the passive voice.
    The dog was drowned by the boy.
  11. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses.
    The woman is walking.
    I shall be writing to you soon.
    We liked to chat while we were eating.
  12. (archaic) Used to form the perfect aspect with certain intransitive verbs. Often still used for to go
    They are not yet come back. (Macbeth by William Shakespeare) (instead of They have not yet come back.)
    He is gone.
  13. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form future tenses, especially the future subjunctive.
    I am to leave tomorrow.
    I would drive you, were I to obtain a car.
  14. Used to indicate age.
    This building is three hundred years old.
    He looks twelve, but is actually thirteen, and will turn fourteen next week.
  15. Used to indicate height.
    He was five-eight.
  16. Used to indicate time of day, day of the week, or date.
    It’s almost eight.
    Today is the second, so I guess next Tuesday must be the tenth.
  17. Used to indicate weather, air quality, or the like.
    It’s hot in Arizona, but it’s not usually humid.
    Why is it so dark in here?
  18. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Used to indicate temperature.
    It’s in the eighties outside, and next week it’s expected to be in the nineties!

Infinitive to be
Imperative be
Present participle being
Past participle been
Present indicative Past indicative Present subjunctive Past subjunctive
First-person singular am was be were
Second-person singular are, art (archaic) were, wast (archaic) be, beest (obsolete) were, wert (archaic)
Third-person singular is was be were
First-person plural are were be were
Second-person plural are were be were
Third-person plural are were be were

Definition from Wiktionary
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