"To be" is also used to express the passive voice in English, thus:
- "This book is often criticized by academics." is the passive form of the sentence: "Academics often criticize this book."
Having been a contributor to this page, I think all this is very poorly analyzed and should be redone. Even my dictionary (American Heritage) does not call the meaning of "to be" as existence, a "copula." My linguistic training agrees with this notion, as well. RoseParks
Yeah, that kind of bugs me too. In a simple existence statement, "be" is the predicate itself, not a copula. One problem is that the concept of "copula" itself is not entirely solid. There's some good information here that should be retained, but it is somewhat unclear. I'll do a page on "copula" that we can link to make it easier to rewrite this one. --LDC
Who wrote that there's no verb "be" in Russian? That's silly. Yah shouldn't write stuff about what you don't know...first, say no falsehoods. (The philosopher's adaptation of "First, do no harm.") --LMS