Быть (location)

by Don  

In Russian the most common verb for the “to be” concept is быть. It is imperfective in terms of meaning, but it is unique in that it is the only imperfective verb to have a simple future form:

to be
infinitive быть
Past был
Present -
Future буду
Imperative будь

Although быть has the present tense third person singular form есть and the present tense third person plural form суть, these are used only in specialized contexts. They aren't normally used to say things like “She is pretty” or “He was in Zvenigorod.” Instead you just leave the verb out in the present tense. Examples:

В прошлом месяце мама была в Туле. Last month Mom was in Tula.
Мама сейчас в Туле. Mom is now in Tula.
Завтра мама будет в Туле. Mom will be in Tula tomorrow.
Вчера мой брат был в командировке. Yesterday my brother was on a business trip.
Мой брат сегодня в командировке. My brother is on a business trip today.
Завтра мой брат будет в командировке. My brother will be on a business trip tomorrow.
Где они были? Where were they?
Мы сейчас на даче. We are at our summer cabin at the moment.
Где вы будете завтра? Where will you be tomorrow?

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