English Grammar Made Easy

Subtitle

Simple Present Tense

 

Simple Present

FORM

[VERB] + s/es in third person

Examples:

·       You speak English.

·       Do you speak English?

·       You do not speak English.

      Complete List of Simple Present Forms at the bottom of this page

USE 1 Repeated Actions

Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.

Examples:

·       I play tennis.

·       She does not play tennis.

·       Does he play tennis?

·       The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.

·       The train does not leave at 9 AM.

·       When does the train usually leave?

·       She always forgets her purse.

·       He never forgets his wallet.

·       Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.

·       Does the Sun circle the Earth?

USE 2 Facts or Generalizations

The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.

Examples:

·       Cats like milk.

·       Birds do not like milk.

·       Do pigs like milk?

·       California is in America.

·       California is not in the United Kingdom.

·       Windows are made of glass.

·       Windows are not made of wood.

·       New York is a small city. It is not important that this fact is untrue.

USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future

Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation, but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.

Examples:

·       The train leaves tonight at 6 PM.

·       The bus does not arrive at 11 AM, it arrives at 11 PM.

·       When do we board the plane?

·       The party starts at 8 o'clock.

·       When does class begin tomorrow?

USE 4 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

Speakers sometimes use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. This can only be done with Non-Continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs.

Examples:

·       I am here now.

·       She is not here now.

·       He needs help right now.

·       He does not need help now.

·       He has his passport in his hand.

·       Do you have your passport with you?

Simple Present Forms

Most Verbs

Most verbs conjugate like the verb "run" below. Notice how you add an "s" to third-person forms. Third-person negative forms and third-person questions are made using "does."

Positive

Negative

Question

·       I run.

·       You run.

·       We run.

·       They run.

·       He runs.

·       She runs.

·       It runs.

·       I do not run.

·       You do not run.

·       We do not run.

·       They do not run.

·       He does not run.

·       She does not run.

·       It does not run.

·       Do I run?

·       Do you run?

·       Do we run?

·       Do they run?

·       Does he run?

·       Does she run?

·       Does it run?

Instead of "s," "es" is added to positive, third-person forms of verbs ending with the following sounds: s, z, sh, ch, j or zs (as in Zsa Zsa). These special "es"-forms have been marked below with an asterisk*.

Positive

Negative

Question

·       I rush.

·       You rush.

·       We rush.

·       They rush.

·       He rushes. *

·       She rushes. *

·       It rushes. *

·       I do not rush.

·       You do not rush.

·       We do not rush.

·       They do not rush.

·       He does not rush.

·       She does not rush.

·       It does not rush.

·       Do I rush?

·       Do you rush?

·       Do we rush?

·       Do they rush?

·       Does he rush?

·       Does she rush?

·       Does it rush?

To Have

The verb "have" is irregular in positive, third-person forms. This irregular form has been marked below with an asterisk*.

Positive

Negative

Question

·       I have.

·       You have.

·       We have.

·       They have.

·       He has. *

·       She has. *

·       It has. *

·       I do not have.

·       You do not have.

·       We do not have.

·       They do not have.

·       He does not have.

·       She does not have.

·       It does not have.

·       Do I have?

·       Do you have?

·       Do we have?

·       Do they have?

·       Does he have?

·       Does she have?

·       Does it have?

To Be

The verb "be" is irregular in the Simple Present. It also has different question forms and negative forms.

Positive

Negative

Question

·       I am.

·       You are.

·       We are.

·       They are.

·       He is.

·       She is.

·       It is.

·       I am not.

·       You are not.

·       We are not.

·       They are not.

·       He is not.

·       She is not.

·       It is not.

·       Am I?

·       Are you?

·       Are we?

·       Are they?

·       Is he?

·       Is she?

·       Is it?

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs behave differently from other verbs. Notice that they do not take "s" in the third person - there is no difference between first-person, second-person or third-person forms. Like the verb "be" described above, modal verbs also have different question forms and negative forms in Simple Present.

Positive

Negative

Question

·       I should go.

·       You should go.

·       We should go.

·       They should go.

·       He should go.

·       She should go.

·       It should go.

·       I should not go.

·       You should not go.

·       We should not go.

·       They should not go.

·       He should not go.

·       She should not go.

·       It should not go.

·       Should I go?

·       Should you go?

·       Should we go?

·       Should they go?

·       Should he go?

·       Should she go?

·       Should it go?

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