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Verb 'be' - vocabulary and use


Before this you should understand the grammar of the verb 'be'. Click here for that page.

One important way to use verb 'be' is with jobs

Let's look at some:

Subject + verb 'be' + ajob

I am a teacher

She is a firefighter

We are policemen

They are chefs.


A: What do you do?

B: I am a teacher. What do you do?

A: I'm a chef.

A: What does your sister do?

B: She's a policewoman. What does your brother do?

A: He's a waiter.

A: What does your husband do?

B: He's a shop assistant. What does your husband do?

A: He's a fireman.


Subject + verb 'be' + age

We use the verb 'be' to describe the state of something - how it is. For example, we say:

I am tall.

because it is true now that 'I' exist as a tall person. We use this structure to say our age because we exist as that age. 

I am 34-years-old.

We often do not say 'years old' if it is obvious from context. 

I am 34

We also contract the 'I' and the 'am'.

I'm 34.

Guess what the person is saying:

She is 25.


He's 17.


It is 8.


They're 64.


A: How old are you?

B: I am 35. What about you?

A: I'm 24.

A: How old is your sister?

B: She's 42. What about your sister?

A: She's also 42.

A: How old are your children?

B: They're 5 and 7.


Blog post on 'From'

Subject + verb 'be' + from + place

I am from London.

We are from Brighton.

I'm from London.

We're from Brighton.

We - Brighton


They are from Baltimore.


They're from Baltimore.

They - Baltimore


You are from Bristol.


You're from Bristol.

You - Bristol


A: Where are you from?

B: I am from London. Where are you from?

A: I'm from Osaka.

A: Where is your mum from?

B: She's from Chicago. What about your mum?

A: She's from Washington.

Make it natural

We use the verb 'be' ALL THE TIME. Make sure you get it right.



Hi! My name is Tom. I'm 40-years-old and from London. I was a firefighter but now I'm a teacher.


Hello, I'm Jane. I'm 36-years-old and from LondonI'm a chef.


[Hello / Hi], I'm [name].

I'm [age] and from [______].

I'm a [job].

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