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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Present Tense of the Verb to Be | Page 2

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When You Cannot Use Contractions with Be

On the previous page you can see that some contractions with “be” are impossible.

Let’s see when you cannot use contractions with “be.”

No Contraction for “am not”

Am and not do not contract. You can say isn’t (is not) and aren’t (are not), but there is no grammatical contraction for am not. In spoken language, sometimes people use ain’t, but that is not considered grammatically correct.


It is not very hot today.

It’s not very hot today.

it isn’t very hot today.

You are not sick.

You’re not sick.

You aren’t sick.

She is not my teacher.

She’s n ot my teacher.

She isn’t my teacher.

I am not tired.

I’m not tired.

(no contraction with “not”)

No Contraction at the End of the Sentence

Use no contraction with the pronoun when the conjugated verb to be is at the end of the sentence.


You can say

It’s very nice today.

Are you John? — No, I’m not.

Is it late? — It isn’t.

but you can only say,

Is it nice today? — Yes, it is. (no contraction)

Are you tired? — Yes, I am. (no contraction)

Is it late? — It is! (no contraction)

Compare these answers

“Is Peter a student?”

Yes, he is.   (no contraction)

Yes, he is a student.

Yes, he’s a student.

No, he is not.

No, he’s not.

No, he isn’t.

Are you sick?

Yes, I am. (no contraction)

Yes, I am very sick.

Yes, I’m very sick.

No, I am not. (no contraction with “not")

No, I’m not.

Connecting Ideas with Be

Continue the lesson to learn what ideas you connect using “be.”