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Definition be


From Middle English been (“to be”). The various forms have three separate origins, which were mixed together at various times in the history of English.

  • The forms beginning with w- come from the aforementioned Old English bēon, which shared its past tense with the verb wesan, from Proto-Germanic *wesaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wes- (“to reside”).
  • The remaining forms are also from Old English wesan (“to be”), from Proto-Germanic *wesaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ésti, from the root *h₁es-.
  • Verb

    be (highly irregular)

    1. (intransitive, now literary) To exist; to have real existence.
    2. (with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
    3. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
    4. (intransitive) To occur, to take place.
    5. (intransitive, in perfect tenses, without predicate) Elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar.
    6. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject and object are the same.
    7. (transitive, copulative, mathematics) Used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
    8. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject plays the role of the predicate nominal.
    9. (transitive, copulative) Used to connect a noun to an adjective that describes it.
    10. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
    11. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the passive voice.
    12. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses.
    13. (archaic, auxiliary) Used to form the perfect aspect with certain intransitive verbs, most of which indicate motion. Often still used for "to go"
    14. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form future tenses, especially the future periphrastic.
    15. (transitive, copulative) Used to link a subject to a measurement.
    16. (transitive, copulative, with a cardinal numeral) Used to state the age of a subject in years.
    17. (with a dummy subject it) Used to indicate the time of day.
    18. (With since) Used to indicate passage of time since the occurrence of an event.
    19. (often impersonal, with it as a dummy subject) Used to indicate weather, air quality, or the like.
    20. (dynamic/lexical "be", especially in progressive tenses, conjugated non-suppletively in the present tense, see usage notes) To exist or behave in a certain way.
    21. (African American Vernacular, Caribbean, auxiliary, not conjugated) To tend to do, often do; marks the habitual aspect.

    Results 100 Words with the letters BE

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    10 letter words with the letters BE 

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