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    #1

    The verb be.

    I hear a lot of people say , I be, he be, and they be. I know it should be , I am, he is and they are. I know be is a verb, but isnt it used in the wrong place? Where does be belongs?

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: The verb be.

    Quote Originally Posted by MsNyree View Post
    I hear a lot of people say , “I be, he be, and they be”. I know it should be , “I am, he is and they are”. I know be is a verb, but isn’t it used in the wrong place? Where does be belongs?
    Unlike other verbs, “Be” verb has five forms. These are: Base or infinitive Form be /Present simple is, am, are/ Past Simple was-were / Past Participle been and Present Participle/Gerund form being.

    So it is wrong to say; I be/He be/they be. You have use as an infinitive and say: I want to be a doctor.


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    #3

    Re: The verb be.

    You mean as in "I be a Republican down to my marrow." ?

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    #4

    Re: The verb be.

    You may have heard something like 'John insisted that his wife be there on time', in which case it is a perfectly correct sentence. The modal verb 'should' can be omitted thus leaving the bare infinitive.
    One more example: 'I demand that he be punctual in future..'
    Hope this helps

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The verb be.

    'Be' is also used in many UK dialects where standard English would have 'am', 'is' and 'are'. This dialectal use of 'be' enters the spoken language of a wider area by way of rhymes, songs, proverbs and other quotations; for example A woman, a dog, and a walnut tree, the more you beat them the ...: Information from Answers.com (not the most politically correct of examples How about this: Morning Has Broken - Bristol City's Fans' Forum :: We're Bristol City, We Always Believe ).

    This sort of "be" formed its own contractions: "I be not" -> "I bain't". I remember a sketch set in a railway ticket office that featured a long string of questions - "Be there any trains going West/East/South/North today?" And the answer, after ages spent leafing through reference books, was always "No there bain't". The final question was "Be there any trains going anywhere today?" (The answer's obvious.)

    Note:
    "Bain't" has never been part of the nationally accepted language.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 28-Aug-2008 at 14:30. Reason: Added final note.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The verb be.

    Quote Originally Posted by MsNyree View Post
    I hear a lot of people say , I be, he be, and they be. I know it should be , I am, he is and they are. I know be is a verb, but isnt it used in the wrong place? Where does be belongs?
    Those forms are normal in AAVE (African American Vernacular English). Given that you're in Atlanta, it would be surprising if you didn't hear it. It's incorrect in Standard English, which is what we teach here, but it's not incorrect in AAVE.
    For example, in AAVE,
    He in Jackson. (He is in Jackson now)
    He be in Jackson. (He is usually in Jackson; He lives in Jackson).

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