"is cycling": Which is the verb?


STATE-OF-BEING verbs express a current state. This type of verb does a lot of work but its importance is often not appreciated. For instance, when people see the words 'is cycling', they pay attention to the word 'cycling' and ignore the 'is.'

Major examples of state-of-being verbs
  • am
  • is
  • are
  • was
  • were
  • be
  • being
  • been

There are other examples like "such as", "become", "seem", and "appear". Note that this type of verb does not express action, but behave like action words in their forms eg "is working". "appear working", "seems to be working".

Practice: Which is a state-of-being verb?

1. is,  can,  may,  do

2. he,  been,  it,  may

3. shall,  will,  are,  and

4. say,  be,  can,  may

5. will,  can,  play,  was

6. say,  do,  am,  could

7. shall,  being,  where,  can

8. is,  can,  shall,  will

9. has,  can,  be,  do

10. you,  are,  it,  he

Practice: Which is the state-of-being verb in the sentence?

1. Is Linda sick today?

2. Sarah, you were being nice.

3. Are you ok Brandon?

4. Was something hiding in the bush?

5. I wonder if my lost dog has been found yet.

6. They are very strange creatures.

7. I am very happy for you.

8. I wish I could be a frog.

9. Henry is my pet lizard.

10. You were mean to that dog.






Related articles

Action verbs

Helper verbs

Introduction to grammar