There is no easy list of words to use instead of is, and the reason is because of where the word is comes from. Therefore, when looking for a word or words to use instead of is, you need to understand the origin of this word.
The verb is comes from the verb “to be.” To be exact, it is the 3rd person singular present indicative of the verb, to be. Oh my goodness, you're thinking to yourself, what on earth does that mean? That's a good question, so let's break it down. 3rd person refers to he, she, and it. He is, she is, it is. You cannot use is with 1st person words, i.e. “I is” cannot be used. Present indicative means that the action is happening right now. Here are two examples: Mary is eating the cake. He is going to the store.
The verb is acts as a linking verb and therefore agrees with its subject, not its complement. For example: Steve's favorite dessert is strawberry pie.
So what do you do when you want to use another word instead of is? You could change the tense of your sentence and use a different form of the verb to be. However, it may not always be that simple. You may get an assignment from a teacher, or professor, where you are not allowed to use ANY form of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, or been). What do you do then? The first thing is to understand the verb to be.
When the verb (the action) links to the subject (the do-er of the action) of the sentence as a state of being, it performs one of these five functions:
- Exists − Steve's favorite dessert is strawberry pie.
- Happens - They sure are fond of strawberry pie.
- Locates - He was at Steve's party.
- Identifies - Those children were appreciative of the strawberry pie.
- Describes - That strawberry pie could be the best we've ever had. He is being very nice. He has been our best friend for many years.
The best way to get rid of to be verbs is by using an action (show me) verb. Here are some examples:
Steve's favorite dessert is strawberry pie. (Now let's say the same thing in a different way.)
Steve loves strawberry pie.
He is walking on the sidewalk. (What is he doing? (or) What is the action being perrformed?)
He walks on the sidewalk.
He is a teacher. (What is he teaching? (or) What is the action being perrformed?)
He teaches history.
My term paper is about the Civil War. (What is the purpose of the paper? What is the paper about?)
My term paper discusses the Civil War.
They sure are fond of strawberry pie. (How else could they indicate they are fond of strawberry pie?)
The group voted strawberry pie as their favorite.
Previously, his favorite dessert had been strawberry pie.
Before he ate chocolate cake, he preferred strawberry pie.
He was sure that Steve liked strawberry pie.
He knew that Steve liked strawberry pie.
They were at Steve's house to eat strawberry pie.
They ate strawberry pie at Steve's house.
I am the person who baked the strawberry pie.
I baked the strawberry pie. (or) Steve baked the strawberry pie.
He is being very nice.
A nicer person does not exist.
He has been our best friend for many years.
He remains our best friend.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas just in case you are looking for another word to use instead of is. It's not easy, but let your imagine run and you will have no problems using another word instead of is.