English is undoubtedly one of the most widely used and taught languages in the world. Today, you can speak English almost everywhere and with everyone. That’s why it’s great to have at least some basic knowledge of the language.
Learning English is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. Just by knowing a few basic sentences and phrases, you can easily communicate in a foreign country and find out the basic information you need. But what if someone approaches you on the street? Can you respond quickly? If not, keep reading. You will learn something new about the use of English tenses and irregular verbs.
Irregular verbs are a very important chapter in learning English. They help you to understand sentences in different tenses and to understand their meaning. To be able to form a grammatically correct sentence in the past tense, for example, you need to know the forms of irregular verbs.
That is why we have prepared an article with basic irregular verbs and their correct usage.
The verb BE
The verb BE (to be) is one of the most basic verbs in the English language. It is an irregular verb for which we need to learn all its forms.
These forms are especially important for the past tense of BE, which we would not be able to form at all without learning the 3 forms. We use it in many types of sentences and in different meanings. And that’s why we should have full command of it.
BE verb forms
The verb BE is interesting in that it has a total of 4 forms. It is thus the only irregular verb of its kind. To be clear, the forms of the verb BE are:
Infinitive: BE /bi:/
Present tense: AM/IS/ARE /æm/is/a:r/
Past tense: WAS/WERE /wɒz /wɜ:/
Past Participle: BEEN /biːn/
Past simple BE
The past simple shows events that took place in the past. They may have been repeated, but they may also have taken place only once.
To form this tense correctly, we need to know the 2nd form of the verb BE. We are talking about the form “WAS/WERE”. For negative sentences, i.e. sentences expressing disagreement, we use the negative meaning “was not/ was not” or “were not/ were not” instead of “was/were”.
When do we use “WAS” and when do we use “WERE”?
We use WAS when the subject of the sentence is 1st or 3rd person singular. This means if the subject of the sentence is I (I) or he/she/it (he/she/it), then we use the verb form of WAS.
For other cases, the verb WERE is used.
I was in a library yesterday.
Michal wasnot/wasn’t in a library yesterday.
They were in Prague a week ago.
Past tense continuous BE
We use the past continuous when we know that an action had a duration in the past.
We create it by combining the verb “was/were” or its negative with the verb BE + the ending -ing. In practice, we use the form “WAS BEING”.
I was being nervous.
You were being serious?
Learning to speak English well is not a matter of talent or linguistic ability. It’s all about our effort and desire to learn something new. If we really try hard and devote some free time to learning English, the results will come soon.
And who knows, maybe in a few months you’ll be talking to a native speaker about their life. The important thing is to persevere and keep improving. And this applies not only to English!