I be quiet.

Is it incorrect?

One of my friends told me that "I be quiet" is an incorrect sentence. I don't know what to say.

Please clear this confusion.

Also, when I looked for this sentence, there was a sentence like.

You be quiet.

If this is correct, then why is "I be quiet" incorrect? May I know please?

  • 2
    "I am quiet" is correct, if you want to say that you are quiet. Google for the forms of to be – CowperKettle Dec 5 '15 at 10:54
  • 2
    It means my friend was right. – I don't know who I am. Dec 5 '15 at 11:17
  • 3
    You be quiet is an imperative. *Let I be an engineer is simply ungrammatical. – snailplane Dec 5 '15 at 11:22
  • 3
    Let me be an engineer? @snailboat – Maulik V Dec 5 '15 at 11:23
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    Yeah, I got it now. In imperative sentences "you" is understood. – I don't know who I am. Dec 5 '15 at 11:23

I be quiet.

You can say "I am/was quiet," but you cannot say "I be quiet". However, you can use this clause in the subjunctive mood as follows:

They suggest that I be quiet.

Is it essential that I be quiet?

In addition, you can also say "I'd better be quiet".


Also consider this ... "I 'd be quiet". Note the 'd. The apostrophe implies a missing letter / letters in this case and implies "I would" be quiet.

  • 1
    That corrects the sentence, but doesn't explain why it's incorrect to say "I be". – ColleenV Dec 5 '15 at 14:35
  • @ColleenV This answer provides supplemental information, which answers sometimes do. Also I don't see how the answer by Ale answers the actual question asked. – user20792 Dec 5 '15 at 14:57

This is often used with the adverb better:

I better be quiet.

It invokes the subjunctive mood.

Often, constructions like it's necessary/important/vital, etc + that + subject + base form invoke it.

It's vital that I be quiet from now on.
It's vital for me to be quiet from now on.

The latter means the same as the former but the infinitive and object pronoun are used.

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