Difference Between Is and Are

Main Difference – Is vs Are

Is and are are both present tense conjugations of the verb ‘to be’. Is is the singular form of be whereas are is the plural form of be. Therefore, the main difference between is and are is that is is singular whereas are is plural.

Is vs Are – Meaning and Usage

As mentioned above, is is the singular form of be and are is the plural form of be. The pronouns that are used with is and are given below.

He is

She is

It is

You are

We are

They are

*Note that the personal pronoun you is always used with are regardless of number.

Be verb can be either used as a main verb or as an auxiliary verb.

Is and Are as Main Verbs

In the following examples, is and are act as the main verb of the sentences. Note how is occurs with a singular subject and are occurs with plural subjects.

He is from New York.

They are Americans.

Maria and Luca are not happy.

Mathew is tired.

We are half-sisters.

Men are crazy, and women are stupid.

Are you sad?

Main  Difference - Is vs Are

The little girl is happy.

Is and Are as Auxiliary Verbs in Present Continuous Tense

Be verb is always used as an auxiliary verb in the formation of present continuous tense.

        Subject + BE+ verb + ing

For example,

He is shouting loudly.

They are talking to each other.

She is laughing hysterically.

We are going on a trip.

Difference Between Is and Are

The children are happy.

Auxiliary Verbs in Passive Voice

When a sentence in simple present tense is turned into a passive voice sentence, is and are act as auxiliary verbs.

The old lady cleans the house. → The house is cleaned by the old lady.

The thief stole my gold chain. →  My gold chain is stolen by the thief.

Mary and Jake eat cookies. →  Cookies are eaten by Mary and Jake.

 Difference Between Is and Are

  • Is and Are are simple present verbs of the be root.
  • Is is used with singular subjects whereas are is used with plural subjects.
  • Is and Are can be used as the main verb of any sentence.
  • Is and Are can be used as auxiliary verbs in present continuous constructions.
  • Is and Are can be used as auxiliary verbs in passive voice constructions.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.