- An example of be is how someone is acting at the time.
- An example of be is when the American flag is used as a symbol of freedom.
- to exist; live: Caesar is no more to happen or occur: when will the wedding be? to remain or continue: will he be here long? to come to; belong: peace be with you to have a place or position: the door is on your left
- as a copula, be links its subject to a predicate nominative, adjective, or pronoun so as to express attribution or identity, and by extension, value, cause, or signification: it is sometimes equivalent to the equal sign (=) in mathematics: Mrs. Siddons was an actress; he is handsome; that hat is fifty dollars; let x be y
Origin of beMiddle English been, beon ; from Old English beon: be is a defective verb with parts from three unrelated stems: 1) the Indo-European substantive verb, base an unverified form es-, as in am, is, Sanskrit ásmi, asti, Gothic im, ist; 2) Indo-European base an unverified form wes-, stay, remain, as in was, were, Sanskrit vasati, (he) lingers, stays, Gothic wisan, was, w?sum, remain, be; 3) Indo-European base an unverified form bheu-, grow, become, (it) occurs, is there, Classical Latin fieri, as in be, been, Sanskrit bhávati, be, become: see bondage
- used with the past participle of a transitive verb to form the passive voice: he will be sued
- Archaic used with the past participle of certain intransitive verbs to form a perfect tense: Christ is risen
- used with the present participle of another verb to express continuation: the player is running with the ball
- used with the present participle or infinitive of another verb to express futurity, possibility, obligation, intention, etc.: he is starting next week; you are to help him
- Bachelor of Education
- Bachelor of Engineering
- bill of exchangealso be or B/E
- : added to other verbs
- around: besprinkle, beset
- completely, thoroughly, excessively: used as an intensifier: bedeck, besmear
- away: used as a privative: bereave, betake
- about: used as a transitive prefix: bethink, bemoan
- : added to nouns and, sometimes, adjectives
- make: besot, bedim
- furnish with, cover with, affect by, treat as: befriend, bedizen, becloud
- covered with, furnished with, furnished with to excess: added to past participles in -ed: bemedaled, bewhiskered
Origin of be-Middle English bi-, be- ; from Old English (akin to Gothic bi-, German be-), at, near ; from Germanic base of by
- Completely; thoroughly; excessively. Used as an intensive: bemuse.
- On; around; over: besmear.
- About; to: bespeak.
- Used to form transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, and intransitive verbs, as:a. To make; cause to become: bedim.b. To affect, cover, or provide: bespectacled.
Origin of be-Middle English bi-, be-, from Old English be-, bi-; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.
- Bachelor of Education
- Bachelor of Engineering
- barium enema
- bill of exchange
- Board of Education
verbFirst and third person singular past indicative was , second person singular and plural and first and third person plural past indicative were , past subjunctive were, past participle been , present participle be·ing , first person singular present indicative am , second person singular and plural and first and third person plural present indicative are , third person singular present indicative is , present subjunctive be
- To exist in actuality; have life or reality: I think, therefore I am.
- 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.
- To take place; occur: The test was yesterday.
- To go or come: Have you ever been to Italy? Have you been home recently?
- Used as a copula in such senses as:a. To equal in identity: “To be a Christian was to be a Roman” (James Bryce).b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.d. To have or show a specified quality 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.
- To belong; befall: Peace be unto you. Woe is me.
- Used with the past participle of a transitive verb to form the passive voice: The mayoral election is held annually.
- Used with the present participle of a verb to express a continuing action: We are working to improve housing conditions.
- Used with the infinitive of a verb to express intention, obligation, or future action: She was to call before she left. You are to make the necessary changes.
- Used with the past participle of certain intransitive verbs to form the perfect tense: Those days are gone.
Origin of beMiddle English ben, from Old English b&emacron;on; see bheu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots. See am1, is, etc. for links to other Indo-European roots. Usage Note: Traditional grammar requires the nominative 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. But in less formal contexts the nominative pronoun can sound pretentious and even ridiculous, especially when the verb is contracted, as in It's we. The traditional rule creates additional problems when the pronoun following be also functions as the object of a verb or preposition in a relative clause, as in It is not them/they that we have in mind, where the plural pronoun serves as both the predicate of is and the object of have. In our 1993 survey, 45 percent of the Usage Panel preferred the nominative form they, 39 percent preferred the objective them, and 17 percent accepted both versions. Following the traditional rule in this case is more of a stylistic preference than a grammatical imperative. Still, writers who want to avoid the problem 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 I1, we.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 like2, zero copula.
B & E
- (intransitive, now literary) To exist; to have real existence.
- With there as dummy subject: to exist.
- (intransitive) To occupy a place.
- The cup is on the table.
- (intransitive) To occur, to take place.
- When will the meeting be?
- (intransitive, without predicate) elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar.
- The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come.
- I have been to Spain many times.
- (copulative) Used to indicate that the subject and object are the same.
- Ignorance is bliss.
- (copulative, mathematics) Used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
- 3 times 5 is fifteen.
- (copulative) Used to indicate that the subject plays the role of the predicate nominal.
- François Mitterrand was president of France from 1981 to 1995.
- (copulative) Used to connect a noun to an adjective that describes it.
- The sky is blue.
- (copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
- The sky is a deep blue today.
- (auxiliary) Used to form the passive voice.
- The dog was drowned by the boy.
- (auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses.
- The woman is walking.
- I shall be writing to you soon.
- We liked to chat while we were eating.
- (archaic) Used to form the perfect aspect with certain intransitive verbs, most of which indicate motion. Often still used for "to go"
- (auxiliary) Used to form future tenses, especially the future periphrastic.
- I am to leave tomorrow.
- I would drive you, were I to obtain a car.
- Used to link a subject to a count or measurement.
- This building is three hundred years old.
- It is almost eight.
- I am 75 kilograms.
- (With since) used to indicate passage of time since the occurrence of an event.
- It has been three years since my grandmother died. (similar to My grandmother died three years ago, but emphasizes the intervening period)
- It had been six days since his departure, when I received a letter from him.
- (often impersonal) Used to indicate weather, air quality, or the like.
- It is hot in Arizona, but it is not usually humid.
- Why is it so dark in here?
From Middle English been (“to be”), from Old English bēon (“to be, become”), from Proto-Germanic *beuną (“to be, exist, come to be, become”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰew- (“to grow, become, come into being, appear”). Cognate with West Frisian binne (“are”), Dutch ben (“am”), Low German bün ("am"), German bin (“am”), Old English būan (“to live, wone”). Irregular forms are inherited from the Old English verb wesan.
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be - Computer Definition
(1) (Be, Inc., Menlo Park, CA) A software company founded in 1990 by Jean Louise Gassee, former head of R&D at Apple, that specialized in the BeOS operating system. BeOS was originally developed for Be's own PowerPC-based machine known as the BeBox. An advanced object-oriented operating system that supports multiprocessing and multithreading, BeOS was designed for multimedia applications, including 3D graphics. The BeBox hardware was later dropped, and BeOS was made available for the Mac and x86 machines. An Internet appliance version (BeIA) was developed that lived a short time in a Sony handheld. Throughout 2001, BeOS was distributed by Gobe Software, which was the developer of an office suite for that environment (see gobeProductive). In late 2001, the technology assets and intellectual property of Be were acquired by Palm.
(2) (Big Endian) See byte order.