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Perhaps this is a silly question, but I am drawing a blank and I can't find the answer on the internet, what kind of word is "am", as in:

"I am going to the store."

What about if it's "I am silly."?

Or "I am a redhead."?

Thank you in advance for any help.
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Comments  
Hello, Guest,
"am" is the first person (singular) of the verb "to be"
Yes, that's right. But we can expand this question, by classifying these sentences into two classes.

(1) I am silly. / I am a readhead.

Here works as a so-called copula verb, I think. Both and represent a set of individuals. refers some particular individual x. And indicates that this x is an element of the set.

(2) I am going to the store.

In this case, we cannot give the same expanation as (1). The form is one of grammatical forms of .

We can draw line between them.
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Thank you, Roro!
Yes; further to Pieanne's and Roro's comments, in sentence #2, 'am' acts as an auxiliary verb.

We use the appropriate present tense of the verb 'to be' + the present participle to form the present progressive tense:

'I am / going to the store.'
'He is / going to the store.'
etc.

This denotes an action in progress.

MrP
Hello guys

I read your answers with interests. I would like to ask some questions in this occasion. It's also a kind of question relating to so called "parallelism".

(EX-1) She is ready and waiting you over there.
(EX-2) She is clever and solving math problems.

Which one is 'is' here a copula verb or an auxiliary verb?

To me, (EX-1) sounds natural, but (EX-2) not. However, I couldn't explain the reason why (EX-2) is odd. Could you kindly give me any advice?

paco
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Hello Paco, how are you?

Q1: I think the 'zeugma' here depends on a double use of 'is': both as copula and auxiliary (she is ready/she is waiting).

Q2 is trickier...

My thought here is that 'ready and waiting' is a natural sequence; she gets ready, she waits. Both events are specific: the 'is' in each case expresses the same kind of state. Thus it sounds 'natural'. (In fact, 'ready and waiting' is a standard phrase.)

In #2, 'clever' is general, and 'solving...' specific. So there's a double-take: two different states of 'is', one long term, one short term.

Others may disagree, though!

MrP
Hello MrP

Thank you for the quick reply. Your reply is really 'pedantic' in using "zeugma" (Greek grammar term) and "double-take" (US-originated phrase) in parallel. Emotion: smile

So you mean a sylleptic use of "be" is inappropriate when the "aspect" or "durativeness" of the adjctive used does not match the present progressive form. Right?

paco
Hello, paco. I've just waken up and have no idea yet. But what is the point? The definition of the term...? Acceptability of these sentences...?

There is one long-discussed problematic sentence:

# The temperature is ninety and rising.

Does this sentence concern your question..? Sorry I've just got up, maybe I missed the point, see you later.
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