How to use the predicate verb 是 shì in Chinese?

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是 shì is a predicate verb that expresses a confirming and positive judgment when used as the subject of a sentence. One of the most typical Chinese sentence structures is “subject + (the predicate verb) + object.”

是 shì can have similar meanings as “to be”, “is”, “yes” etc. in English.

For examples:

Wǒ shì Nuówēi rén.
I am Norwegian.

Tā shì jīnglǐ.
He is the manager.

Wǒ shì lǎoshī.
I’m a teacher.

Tā shì Huò Kūn.
He is Haakon.

Nǐmen shì xuéshēng.
You are students.

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Putting the negative verb “不 bù” before “是 shì” creates the negative form of 是 shì.
When preceding a fourth tone the character “不” bù is pronounced as a second tone bú.
So the correct way to negate 是 shì is to say búshì
For examples:

Wǒ búshì nuówēi rén.
I am not Norwegian.

Tā búshì jīnglǐ.
He is not the manager.

Wǒ búshì lǎoshī.
I’m not a teacher.

Tā búshì Huò Kūn.
He is not Haakon.

Nǐmen búshì xuéshēng.
You are not students.

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