Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Grammar – The Verb To Be

The Verb Be

You can ask yes/no questions and wh- questions with the verb be.

A lot of Americans, in general, have problems with this – specifically possessive adjectives.

Example: Your happy.

You can’t use “your” because “your” is signaling possession.  Your chair, your phone, your hammer, your book.  Happy is an adjective.

Correct: You’re happy.


Here are some forms.

Yes/No questions                                    Is yellow your favorite color? (Yes, it is. / No, it isn’t)

Am/Is/Are + subject                              Are you American? (Yes, I am / No, I’m not.)


Wh- questions                                        Who is your favorite teacher? (Mr. Buck)

Wh- + am/is/are                                     What are your interests? (Sports and movies)


  1. Complete these yes/no questions with Am, Is, or Are.

a. _____________ you from the states?

b. _____________ I your best friend?

c. _____________ yellow your favorite color?

d. _____________ our teacher Egyptian?

e. _____________ you from Estonia?






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