By Paula Vaske on November 12, 2021

The Introduction

Imagine moving to a new country. You are excited about so many things, but you are also quite nervous. You know the success of this venture relies heavily upon your ability to learn something new, English! You attend your first meeting with your English teacher. She is friendly and encouraging. She begins the class by writing “to be” on the board. You painstakingly write “to be” down in your notebook, beginning your English journey.

As the teacher has you repeat the words “I am happy. You are happy. We are happy. They are happy. He is happy. She is happy,” your understanding develops. During this first class you are overwhelmed at what you accomplish. You learn how to introduce yourself, explain how your feel, “I am excited.” You describe your cat, “It is black.” You even learn a sentence that describes your shoes, “They are blue.” But you never meet “to be.”

As the days progress your confidence grows. You are able to order food from the local restaurant. You confidently express yourself using simple present tense, “I want a hamburger. She wants pasta.” However, as you review your notes your attention is focused on your perfect handwritten title “to be,” and you wonder why you have never used this before. Did the teacher forget? Did you write it down incorrectly? Did you somehow miss this part of the lesson?

After dutifully attending your English lessons, your understanding increases exponentially. You are capable of explaining what you are doing now. You confidently explain to your employer “I am meeting with him today,” using your newly acquired grammar skill, present continuous tense. Each lesson opens new doors for you, and after some time you forget “to be.”

Your teacher introduces the new lesson for today, the future tense. She begins by talking about tomorrow and pointing at days in the future. She talks about the possibility of a nice day. Then suddenly something catches your ear! “It will be sunny tomorrow.” She used the verb “to be” in an actual sentence! She asks you to repeat after her “I will be happy. You will be happy. We will be happy…” All this time during your English journey “to be” has been waiting for you in the future. And just like that, this verb so strangely conjugated, reveals something to you, “You can be happy here!” You turn to the first page of your notebook and realize that English may always be a slight mystery, but it is worth the journey.

Happy learning and enjoy the journey!

Published by Paula Vaske November 12, 2021