be

Be

The symbol for beryllium

BE

abbr. 1. Bachelor of Education 2. Bachelor of Engineering 3. barium enema

Reading: be

4. bill of exchange 5. Board of Education

abbr. Baumé scale

be

( bē) v. First and third person singular past indicative was

(wŭz, wŏz; wəz when unstressed

) second person singular and plural and first and third person plural past indicative were

(wûr

) past subjunctive were past participle been

(bĭn

) present participle be·ing

(bē′ĭng

) first person singular present indicative am

(ăm

) second person singular and plural and first and third person plural present indicative are

(är

) third person singular present indicative is

(ĭz

) present subjunctive be v. intr. 1. To exist in actuality ; have life or reality :

I think, therefore I am.

2. a. To occupy a specified position :

The food is on the table.

b. To remain in a certain state or situation undisturbed, untouched, or unmolested :

Let the children be.

3. To take home ; occur :

The test was yesterday.

4. To go or come :

Have you ever been to Italy? Have you been home recently?

5. Used as a copula in such senses as: a. To equal in identity :

“To be a Christian was to be a Roman”

(

James Bryce

).

Read more: ED

b. To have a specified significance :

A is excellent, C is passing. Let

n

be the unknown quantity.

c. To belong to a intend class or group :

The human being is a primate.

d. To have or show a pin down timbre or characteristic :

She is witty. All humans are mortal.

e. To seem to consist or be made of :

The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

Used as a copula in such senses as : 6. To belong ; happen :

Peace be unto you. Woe is me.

v. aux. 1. Used with the past participle of a transitive verb verb to form the passive articulation :

The mayoral election is held annually.

2. Used with the present participle of a verb to express a continuing action :

We are working to improve housing conditions.

3. Used with the infinitive of a verb to express purpose, obligation, or future legal action :

She was to call before she left. You are to make the necessary changes.

4. Used with the past participle of certain intransitive verb to form a perfect tense :

Those days are gone. Let me know when you are finished.

ben, from Old English bēon; see bheuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. See is, etc. for links to other Indo-European roots.] [ Middle English, from Old English ; seein the Appendix of Indo-European roots. See am. ]Usage Note: Traditional grammar requires the subjective form of the pronoun in the predicate of the verb be: It is I (not me), That must be they (not them), and so forth. The rule is based on the vague notion that the complement of be is being equated with the subject of the sentence and so it should be treated like the subject and have subjective case. This reasoning is faulty because the grammatical case of a noun or pronoun is really determined by its position in the sentence, not by what it refers to, and in anything but the most formal style the complement of be takes objective case: people say It’s me, not It’s I. Indeed, in informal contexts the subjective pronoun can sound pretentious and even ridiculous, especially when the pronoun also functions as the object of a verb or preposition in the relative clause, as in It isn’t them/they that we have in mind, where the third-person pronoun serves as both the complement of is and the object of have. In our 2016 survey, 71 percent of the Usage Panel accepted It isn’t them that we have in mind, while only 53 percent accepted It isn’t they that we have in mind. Following the traditional rule in such cases is more of a stylistic preference than a grammatical imperative. Fortunately, writers who wish to avoid sounding stilted but prefer not to violate the standard rule can usually revise their sentences easily enough: They are not the ones we have in mind, We have someone else in mind, and so on. See Usage Notes at 1, we. traditional grammar requires the immanent mannequin of the pronoun in the predicate of the verb ( not ), ( not ), and so forth. The rule is based on the obscure impression that the complement ofis being equated with the submit of the prison term and so it should be treated like the subject and have immanent case. This reason is defective because the grammatical sheath of a noun or pronoun is truly determined by its placement in the prison term, not by what it refers to, and in anything but the most formal stylus the complement oftakes objective case : people saynotIndeed, in cozy context the immanent pronoun can sound pretentious and even pathetic, specially when the pronoun besides functions as the object of a verb or preposition in the relative article, as inwhere the third-person pronoun serves as both the complement ofand the object ofIn our 2016 sketch, 71 percentage of the Usage Panel acceptedwhile entirely 53 percentage acceptedFollowing the traditional rule in such cases is more of a stylistic preference than a grammatical imperative. fortunately, writers who wish to avoid sounding stilted but prefer not to violate the standard rule can normally revise their sentences well enough : and so on. understand usage Notes at I

Our Living Language In place of the inflected forms of be, such as is and are, used in Standard English, African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and some varieties of Southern American English may use zero copula, as in He working, or an invariant be, as in He be working, instead of the Standard English He is working. As an identifying feature of the vernacular of many African Americans, invariant be has been frequently seized on by writers and commentators trying to imitate or parody black speech. However, most imitators use it simply as a substitute for is, as in John be sitting in that chair now, without realizing that within AAVE, invariant be is used primarily for habitual or extended actions set in the present. Among African Americans the form is most commonly used by working-class speakers and young persons. Since the 1980s, younger speakers have tended to restrict the use of the form to progressive verb forms (as in He be walking), whereas their parents also use it with adjectives (as in He be nice) and expressions referring to a location (as in He be at home). Younger speakers also use invariant be more exclusively to indicate habitual action, whereas older speakers more commonly omit be forms (as in He walking) or use present tense verb forms (such as He walks), sometimes with adverbs like often or usually, to indicate habituality. · The source of invariant habitual be in AAVE is still disputed. Some linguists suggest that it represents influence from finite be in the 17th- to 19th-century English of British settlers, especially those from the southwest of England. Other linguists feel that contemporaneous Irish or Scotch-Irish immigrants may have played a larger role, since their dialects mark habitual verb forms with be and do be, as in “They be shooting and fishing out at the Forestry Lakes” (archival recordings of the Royal Irish Academy) and “Up half the night he does be” (James Joyce). But some have argued that the development of invariant be in Irish English came after its development in AAVE. Other linguists believe that habitual be in AAVE may have evolved from the habitual does be construction brought to America by Caribbean Creole slaves and migrants from the 17th century on; until very recently, the construction was still in use among Gullah speakers from coastal South Carolina and Georgia, where Barbadian and other Caribbean slaves had been well-represented in the founding populations. Still other linguists suggest that invariant be is an innovation within AAVE arising in the second half of the 20th century, essentially a response to the wide range of meanings that the English progressive tense can express. See Notes at 2, zero copula. In place of the inflected forms ofsuch asandused in Standard English, african American Vernacular English ( AAVE ) and some varieties of southern american English may use zero copula, as inor an invariantas ininstead of the Standard EnglishAs an name sport of the common of many african Americans, invarianthas been frequently seized on by writers and commentators trying to imitate or parody black lecture. however, most imitators use it merely as a substitute foras inwithout realizing that within AAVE, invariantis used chiefly for accustomed or unfold actions set in the stage. Among african Americans the form is most normally used by wage-earning speakers and young persons. Since the 1980s, younger speakers have tended to restrict the manipulation of the human body to progressive verb forms ( as in ), whereas their parents besides use it with adjectives ( as in ) and expressions referring to a location ( as in ). Younger speakers besides use invariantmore entirely to indicate accustomed action, whereas older speakers more normally omitforms ( as in ) or use present strain verb forms ( such as ), sometimes with adverb likeor, to indicate habituality. · The reference of invariant habitualin AAVE is still disputed. Some linguists suggest that it represents influence from finitein the 17th- to 19th-century English of british settlers, specially those from the southwest of England. other linguists feel that contemporaneous irish or Scotch-Irish immigrants may have played a larger function, since their dialects mark accustomed verb forms withandas in ( archival recordings of the Royal Irish Academy ) and ( James Joyce ). But some have argued that the development of invariantin irish English came after its growth in AAVE. other linguists believe that habitualin AAVE may have evolved from the habitualconstruction brought to America by Caribbean Creole slaves and migrants from the seventeenth hundred on ; until very recently, the construction was still in use among Gullah speakers from coastal South Carolina and Georgia, where barbadian and other Caribbean slaves had been well-represented in the establish populations. however other linguists suggest that invariantis an initiation within AAVE arising in the second gear half of the twentieth century, basically a response to the wide range of meanings that the English progressive tense can express. See Notes at like

american Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved .

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