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Gramàtica anglesa de nivell avançat pas a pas (English Grammar Step by Step)


     UNIT 6

   PART 1: BE

   Fill in the gaps with the appropriate form of the verb be.

1  Examples: (present)

I am/I'm
You are/You're
He is/He's
She is/She's
It is/It's
We are/We're
You are/You're
They are/They're

I am not/I'm not
You are not
He is not
She is not
It is not
We are not
You are not
They are not

Am I?
Are you?
Is he?
Is she?
Is it?
Are we?
Are you?
Are they?

   Are not contracts to aren't or 're not (you aren't/you're not); is not, to isn't or 's not (he isn't/he's not). A negative interrogative sentence is also possible: am I not?1; are you not?/aren't you?; is he not?/isn't he?, and so forth.

a  They __________ spreading the disease.
b  It __________ freezing outside?
c  We __________ (not) slaves.
d  Don't go out now. It __________ pissing down with rain.
e  I __________ illiterate.
f  He __________ (not) a bookish boy.
g  It __________ milk shake.
h  —The rain __________ still teeming down?
   —No, it __________ (not).
i  You __________ free to do what you want.
j  —What it __________?
   —It __________ a pencil-sharpener.

2  Examples: (past)

I was
You were
He was
She was
It was
We were
You were
They were

I was not
You were not
He was not
She was not
It was not
We were not
You were not
They were not

Was I?
Were you?
Was he?
Was she?
Was it?
Were we?
Were you?
Were they?

   Was not contracts to wasn't; were not, to weren't. A negative interrogative sentence is also possible: was I not?/wasn't I, were you not?/weren't you?, and so on.

a  He __________ clean-shaven when I met him.
b  It __________ (not) a squirrel, but a rabbit.
c  They __________ looking round the city when the storm broke.
d  It __________ pouring when I went out.
e  I __________ walking in the woods when I came across this old broom. Isn't it lovely!
f  She __________ run over?
g  It __________ (not) out of date.
h  They __________ taken to hospital.
i  The ice __________ melting.
j  The whale __________ in danger.

3  Examples: (infinitive; see unit 23.)
   It can't be done.
   She should be in.

a  He must __________ very happy.
b  They will __________ carrying out my plans tomorrow evening.
c  She ought to __________ helping them.
d  He can't __________ useful.
e  I want to __________ a pop star.

4  Examples: (-ing forms→gerund and present participle; see unit 23.)
   They hate being at home. (gerund)
   Your bedroom is being cleaned. (present participle)

a  He doesn't like __________ a dustman.
b  You are __________ very naughty!
c  It is __________ done for you.
d  I hate __________ told what to do.
e  My house is __________ painted.

5  Examples: (past participle; see units 7 —parts 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12— and 8.)
   She had been waiting for a chance like this all her life.
   They must have been worried.

a  I have __________ living in this house since I was born.
b  She has __________ working as a housewife since she got married.
c  My father had __________ teaching Japanese for twenty-five years.
d  This time next week, he will have __________ working as a plumber for thirty-four years.
e  He has __________ painting landscapes since he was twelve.

6  Revision exercise.
a  It __________ no use crying over spilt milk.
b  They may __________ bored.
c  They can't __________ as slippery as an eel.
d  The water __________ (not) boiling yet.
e  Shut up! The show __________ about to start.
f  I didn't understand a word they said. It __________ all Greek to me.
g  It __________ very kind of you. Thank you!
h  I would like to __________ a teenager.
i  He has __________ told that you __________ a member of the club.
j  —What does she do?
   —She __________ a cook.
k  It will __________ under control before long.
l  The lights __________ on. Turn them off.
m  I dislike __________ mistaken for my brother.
n  Somebody must have __________ digging here recently.
o  The tide __________ coming in when I found the corpse.
p  She __________ pining away now because of her husband's death.
q  He __________ having a shower when I went to see him.
r  They __________ out. Would you like to leave a message?
s  Someone __________ knocking at the door.
t  They __________ worn out after they had played the football match.
u  He has __________ studying ancient Greek for ten years.
v  It __________ bound to rain. You'd better take an umbrella.
w  Two heads __________ better than one.
x  It __________ teeming with rain, so I stayed at home.
y  —Where you ___________ going?
   —To spend a penny!
z  —What __________ wrong?
   —I __________ terribly sad. My fiancée and I have just splitted up.

7  We can make a twofold classification of the verb to be: auxiliary and ordinary. As an auxiliary, it is used to form verb tenses or expressions. As an ordinary verb, it is used with adjectives, nouns, pronouns, prepositions and adverbs:
     He is wearing dark glasses. (the present continuous tense; auxiliary verb; see the continuous or progressive tenses in the following unit.)
     He can't be arrested. (passive; auxiliary; see unit 25.)
     She is an artist. (ordinary verb; to be + a noun)
     They are silly. (ordinary verb; to be + an adjective)
     It is I/me. (ordinary verb; to be + a pronoun; for the usage of these personal pronouns, see unit 10, section 8.)
     I am in Paris. (ordinary verb; to be + a prepositional phrase)
     The lights are off. (ordinary verb; to be + an adverb)

   The verb to be is considered as an auxiliary in the following expressions: be about to, be bound to, be going to, be to, and in some others. Both as an ordinary verb and as an auxiliary, we make the negative and interrogative in the same way:
     He was having a shower. (auxiliary; past continuous)
     He was not having a bath.
     Was he having a bath?
     She is handicapped. (ordinary verb; to be + an adjective)
     She is not handicapped.
     Is she handicapped?

   Still, do is used in negatives imperatives or in emphatic imperatives:
     Don't be ridiculous!
     Do be friendlier!

   Transform the following sentences into the interrogative and the negative. Say also if be is an auxiliary verb or an ordinary verb.

a  He is a nobody.
b  My fiancé is fighting against corruption.
c  (The sky has clouded over.) It is going to rain. (Omit the sentence in brackets.)
d  Belinda is my fiancée.
e  Gerald is very talkative.
f  The doctor is filling his bad tooth now.
g  The cooker is too big to fit in here.
h  David has been knocking on the door for the last five minutes.
i  Roger's at the bank.
j  They are broke.

8  Be to can have several meanings:
   a Obligation, mainly in orders and instructions:
       You are to come home early tonight.
       You are not to tell lies.
       These pills are not to be taken without prescription.

   b A plan:
       We are to travel all over the world next summer.
     In the past, there are two possibilities:
       She was to visit her father. (We do not know whether or
       not she visited him; she probably did.)
       She was to have visited her father. (She did not visit him.)

   c Destiny:
       He thought he was bound to be poor all his life, but one
       day he was to inherit a large sum of money from an
       uncle of his.

   d Possibility:
       They were nowhere to be found, although the police did
       their best to find them.

   e Supposition:
       If I were to leave you, what would you do? (= Supposing I
       left you, what would you do?)
     Note the use of the subjuntive form were for all the persons. See unit 24, sections 7 and 8.

   Write the meaning of the verb be to in the spaces provided.

a  He was not to be caught, although they did their utmost to catch him. __________
b  If you were to become president, would you help the poor? __________
c  You are to resign, otherwise you'll be fired. __________
d  She is to take over her father's business next year, since he wants to retire. __________
e  Ten years ago, he was introduced to a very mysterious girl under very strange circumstances. He thought he would never see her again, but last year he was to run into her in a far-off country. __________
f  You are to obey my orders. __________
g  He was to have robbed a bank, but the police found out that he was a bank robber, and arrested him. __________
h  If he were to give up, would you encourage him to go on? _________
i  Everybody has been looking for him, but he is nowhere to be seen. __________
j  Emma didn't know she had a twin sister; but, one day, she decided to travel around the world, and was to run into her while she was walking along a very busy road. _________

9  Examples:
   There is a murderer among the crowd. (a murderer→singular)
   There are two goats beside the tree. (two goats→plural)
   There is some brown sugar left. (some brown sugar→uncountable)
   There is a hairbrush and (there is) a toothbrush.
   There will be a lot of strikes.
   There is nobody at the door.

   There were a lot of palm trees. (a lot of palm trees→plural)
   There was a handkerchief on the bed. (a handkerchief→singular)
   There was a lot of grain last year. (a lot of grain→uncountable)
   There lived some dwarfs.

   The structure there + be + noun is used to refer to the existence or non-existence of somebody or something. Instead of the verb be, it is sometimes possible to use other verbs, as in the last example. Another possibility to the last example is Some dwarfs lived there, which is normally safer.

   Write the verbs in brackets in the appropriate form.

a  There (seem) to be a maze. (simple present)
b  There (be) some dung outside. Will it be enough for your potato plants?
c  There (be) going to be a lot of tourists. So we'd better stay at home.
d  There (appear) to be a wasps' nest. (simple present)
e  There (be) some cocoa. (simple past)
f  There (be) two muck heaps. (simple past)
g  How many sheets and blankets there (be)? (simple present)
h  There (not be) any strawberry jellies. You ate them yesterday.
i  There (be) a soft drink? I'm very thirsty.
j  There (be) fog tomorrow.


1  Examples:
   He used to sound the horn. (used to + an infinitive)
   He did not use to sound the horn/He used not2 to sound the horn.
   Did he use to sound the horn?/Used he to sound the horn?

   Used to is used for past habits. In the present, we would say He sounds the horn or He usually sounds the horn. Used to is generally treated as an ordinary verb to form the negative and the interrogative. In a more formal context, used to can act as a modal verb, that is to say, the alternative given above without did.

   Transform the following sentences into the interrogative and the negative.

a  She used to spend her free time reading comics.
b  There used to be a lot of foxes in this forest.
c  He used to back the same horse.
d  They used to attend all the meetings.
e  They used to live in awe of their stepfather.

2  Example:
   He would ring the bell whenever he visited me, even though I always left the door unlocked.

   Would is used to say that something happened in the past repeatedly. Nonetheless, would does not indicate whether or not this action is still going on in the present, whereas used to always refers to past actions. Used to is possible for states; would is not: She used to own a palace. Would cannot replace used to here.

   Insert used to or would in the spaces provided.

a  She __________ shout at me whenever we met.
b  He __________ drink wine with a straw.
c  They __________ alight at this bus-stop.
d  He __________ be infatuated with her, but now he hates her.
e  I __________ hitch-hike every day.

3  Examples:
   They are used to living on bread and water. (be used to + a gerund, noun or pronoun)
   They are getting used to working long hours. (get used to + a gerund, noun or pronoun)
   He is becoming used to his friend's behaviour. (become used to + a gerund, noun or pronoun)
   I am used to it.

   Be/get/become used to must be followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund. Be used to means be accustomed to; get/become used to, get/become accustomed to. Become used to is formal; get used to, informal. The difference between be and get/become is that the latter implies a process, whereas the process is over in the former.

   Insert be used to or get/become used to in the spaces provided.

a  He __________ the heat. He lives in a very hot country.
b  When he arrived in Morocco, he found it very difficult to __________ the heat, as he __________ (not) it.
c  She __________ working by candle-light, since she hasn't got electric light.
d  They __________ (not) working overtime, which is why they are so tired out.
e  She got drunk with two glasses of wine because she __________ (not) drinking alcohol.

4  Revision exercise. (Complete the blanks with used to, would, be used to or get/become used to.)
a  He __________ slow down at the weekend, but now he works very hard.
b  They __________ loot castles and towns.
c  They __________ pollute this river. Fortunately, they were caught.
d  Nadia __________ eat like a horse every time we met.
e  Barbara __________ working at night. She has always worked at night.
f  I __________ save for a rainy day. I can't now.
g  We __________ eating food without salt, as our mother can't take it.
h  Kids __________ running and jumping all day.
i  Felix finds it very difficult to __________ driving on the left.
j  My late husband __________ sleepwalk. At first, it was very difficult to __________ it, but I __________ it with time.
k  They __________ wildlife. They've lived in the jungle all their lives.
l  I __________ the cold. I come from Alaska.
m  Peter __________ always wear sandals when we were at the university. I think he still wears them.
n  Don't worry! I __________ cockroaches.
o  I will never __________ competing against my brother.
p  John __________ be very economical with the truth.
q  I __________ trashy films. My parents love them
r  The people in Benidorm __________ tourism.
s  She __________ pick up a lot of boys in her youth.
t  She __________ let her boy run wild, and now he is a gangster.
u  I __________ speed! Speed up!
v  Don __________ crack everybody up. He was a funny little man.
w  She will never __________ unshaven men.
x  They __________ possess a lot of wealth, but now they are very poor.
y  We __________ make these shoes by hand. Now we use a machine.
z  He __________ live on the outskirts of the city, but now he lives in the centre of the city.

1  Aren't I? is a very informal possibility.
2  Used not can be contracted to usedn't.

Author: Miquel Molina i Diez

Pages: 1, 2 and the key

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1  Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)

2  Short answers (Page 2 and the key)

3  Question tags (Page 2 and the key)

4  Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)

5  So, neither, nor, either (the key)

6  Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)

7  Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)

8  Irregular verbs

9  Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)

10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)

11 The genitive case (the key)

12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)

13 Gender (the key)

14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)

16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)

17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)

18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)

19 Adjective order (the key)

20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)

21 Do and make (the key)

22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)

24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)

25 Passive sentences (the key)

26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)

27 Purpose (the key)

28 Word order (the key)

29 Inversion (the key)

30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)

31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

32 Phrasal verbs (the key)

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