Simple Present Tense: How to Use It, With Examples

Grammarly

The simple present is a verb tense with two main uses. We use the simple present tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite). Depending on the person, the simple present tense is formed by using the root form or by adding s or es to the end.

I feel great!

Pauline loves pie.

I’m sorry to hear that you’re sick.

The other is to talk about habitual actions or occurrences.

Pauline practices the piano every day.

Ms. Jackson travels during the summer.

Hamsters run all night.

Typically, when we want to describe a temporary action that is currently in progress, we use the present continuous : Pauline can’t come to the phone right now because she is brushing her teeth.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.

Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

How to form the simple present

In the simple present, most regular verbs use the root form, except in the third-person singular (which ends in s ).

First-person singular: I write .

Second-person singular: You write .

Third-person singular: He/she/it writes. (Note the s. )

First-person plural: We write .

Second-person plural: You write .

Third-person plural: They write .

For a few verbs, the third-person singular ends with es instead of s . Typically, these are verbs whose root form ends in o , ch , sh , th , ss , gh , or z .

First-person singular: I go .

Second-person singular: You go .

Third-person singular: He/she/it goes . (Note the es .)

First-person plural: We go .

Second-person plural: You go .

Third-person plural: They go .

For most regular verbs, you put the negation of the verb before the verb, e.g., “She won’t go” or “I don’t smell anything.”

The verb to be is irregular:

First-person singular: I am .

Second-person singular: You are .

Third-person singular: He/she/it is .

First-person plural: We are .

Second-person plural: You are .

Third-person plural: They are .

How to make the simple present negative

The formula for making a simple present verb negative is do/does + not + [root form of verb] . You can also use the contraction don’t or doesn’t instead of do not or does not .

Pauline does not want to share the pie.

She doesn’t think there is enough to go around.

Her friends do not agree .

I don’t want pie anyway.

To make the verb to be negative, the formula is [ to be ] + not .

I am not a pie lover, but Pauline sure is.

You aren’t ready for such delicious pie.

How to ask a question

The formula for asking a question in the simple present is do/does + [subject] + [root form of verb] .

Do you know how to bake a pie?

How much does Pauline love pie?

Common verbs in the simple present

The verb to be in the simple present.

present simple

Perfect English Grammar

The Present Simple Tense

Perfect english grammar.

present simple

if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[728,90],'perfect_english_grammar_com-box-2','ezslot_0',120,'0','0'])};__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-perfect_english_grammar_com-box-2-0'); Also called the simple present tense

Download this explanation in PDF here. We need to use the Present Simple a lot in English, so it's really important to understand it well. Many students have problems with the form (or how to make it).

Simple present tense with 'be'

Here's the positive form (positive means a normal sentence, not a negative or a question. This is sometimes called 'affirmative')

Click here to practise making the positive with 'be' . Next, here's the negative . It's very easy. You only add 'not' .

Firstly, here's the 'yes / no' question form:

Click here to practise making yes / no questions with 'be' .

If you'd like to make a 'wh' question , you just put the question word at the front:

Click here to practise making 'wh' questions with 'be' .

Click here to practise making positive, negative and question forms with 'be' (exercise 1) Click here to practise making positive, negative and question forms with 'be' (exercise 2)

Present simple tense with other verbs

The positive is really easy. It's just the verb with an extra 's' if the subject is 'he', 'she', or 'it'. Let's take the verb 'play' as an example:

Click here to practise making the positive form for other verbs (exercise 1) Click here to practise making the positive form for other verbs (exercise 2)

To make the negative form, you need to use 'do not' (don't) or ' does not' (doesn't).

Click here to practise making the negative (exercise 1) Click here to practise making the negative (exercise 2)

How about the question form of the present simple tense?

We use 'do' or 'does' before the subject to make the 'yes / no' question :

Click here to practise making yes / no questions .

Just like with 'be', if you'd like to make a 'wh' question , you just put the question word at the front:

Click here to practise making 'wh' questions

Mixed exercise 1 Mixed exercise 2 Mixed exercise 3 Mixed exercise 4 using both 'be' and other verbs Click here for all the exercises about this tense

Next, I explain how to USE the Present Simple .

Ezoic

Click here to read more about our learning method

Present simple

young man cooking

Do you know how to use the present simple? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how we use the present simple. 

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. My dad phones me every day. She doesn't like her job. What time do you get up at weekends?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar A1-A2: Present simple: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

We can use the present simple to talk about things we do regularly.

I go to the gym three times a week. We drink coffee at work.

We can also use it for things which are generally true.

She loves her job. A lot of people work at home now.

Remember that we add s or es for he , she and it . Sometimes we also change y to i . 

My favourite TV show starts at 8 o'clock. She finishes work early on Fridays. My brother studies at university.

The he , she and it forms for have , do and go are irregular. 

He has a flat in the city centre. She does yoga on Tuesdays. My dog goes for a walk every morning.

For the negative, we use don't or doesn't .

We don't eat meat. She doesn't have a lot of free time.

For questions, we use do or does.

Do you watch a lot of films? Does he speak English?

Short answers

We can answer questions with Yes, I/you/we/they do , Yes, he/she/it does, or No, I/you/we/they don't or No, he/she/it doesn't .

Do you like cheese?  Yes, I do. Does she play football on Saturdays? No, she doesn't.

Questions with question words

We can also put question words like what , where , who or what time before do or does .

Where do you work? What time does he have lunch?

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Present simple: Grammar test 2

Language level

hello, why in the first phrase: ' what time does he start work?' I have 'START' and not STARTS, with 'he'.

Hello macs,

It's because it's a question. In both questions and negative forms, the 's' that we normally add to the end of the base form ('start' > 'starts') is not used. 

It might help to think that in questions and negatives, this 's' goes with the auxiliary verb 'does' ('Doe s she eat meat?') or 'doesn't' ('She doe s n't eat meat') instead of with the main verb ('She eat s meat'). 

Does that make sense?

All the best, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

I wish these activities would be avaliable in a worksheet too :(

Hello. Could you please help me? Is the following sentence correct using "doesn't work"?

- Nabil doesn't work today. He never works on fridays.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

No, that's not correct because it refers to now.

'isn't working' is the correct form here.

It might helpful to think of the present continuous form as showing a kind of contrast with the present simple -- today versus the habitual.

present simple

The Present Simple Tense

Spelling tip.

In the present simple 3rd person singular (he, she, it), add s, es, or ies to the base form of the verb.

Write better and faster Ginger helps you write confidently. Start writing with Ginger

Sometimes the present simple tense doesn’t seem very simple. Here we will sort it all out for you!

We use the present simple tense to express the following ideas:

Examples of the Present Simple

Forming the Present Simple

Time expressions in the present simple.

The most common time expressions in the present simple are: usually, always, never, on Wednesdays, every Wednesday, twice a week, once a month, in general, every other day.

Time expressions made up of one word are placed between the subject and the verb in positive sentences and questions and between the auxiliary verb and main verb in negative sentences.

Time expressions made up of two or more words are placed either at the beginning or the end of a sentence and usually at the end of questions.

Negative Sentences in the Present Simple Tense

When shortening the 3rd person (he, she, it) negative, just remove the o in not and add an apostrophe (‘) does not > does n’t

When creating negative sentences, we usually use the auxiliary verbs don’t and doesn’t + the base form of the verb.

Note: Save the long forms (do not, and does not) for when you want to create emphasis. When speaking, put the stress on ‘not’.

Yes/No Questions in the Present Simple

Punctuation tip.

Always begin a sentence, question and wh-question with a capital letter: H e always does good work. D o you like me? W hat did they bring you?

To create a question that will be answered with a yes or no, start the question with Do or Does, then add a subject (the person or thing that does the action) followed by the base form of the verb and only then add the rest of the sentence.

Note: In the Present Simple tense:

Wh-Questions in the Present Simple

Wh- questions are questions that require more information in their answers. Typical wh- words are what, where, when, why, who, how, how many, how much.

To create a wh-question, start with the wh-word, then add do or does, then the subject (a person or thing that does the action), followed by the base form of the verb and only then add the rest of the sentence.

Tag Questions in the Present Simple

Tag questions are those short questions that are tagged onto the end of a sentence. They are used just to make sure the person you’re talking to understood what you meant or to emphasize what you said.

They’re formed either by using a regular sentence in the present simple and adding don’t or doesn’t and a pronoun (I, you, we, they, he, she, it) and a question mark .

You may also add a positive tag when you’re using a negative sentence.

As a rule: When the sentence is positive, the tag is negative. When the sentence is negative, the tag is positive.

Exercises for the Present Simple

Fill in the correct form of the verb as in the examples.

Examples – Present Simple

Yes/No Questions

Wh questions, tag questions.

Would you like to learn more? Click here to learn how to properly use quotation marks

Cambridge Dictionary

Present simple ( I work )

Present simple: form.

We use the base form of the verb, and add -s for the third person singular.

Present simple: spelling

For most verbs we add -s to the base form to make the she, he, it (third person singular) form:

For other verbs, the spelling changes are:

When the verb ends in -s or -z we double the -s or -z and add -es , e.g. quiz , quizzes . These verbs are not common.

Present simple: uses

General truths and facts.

We use the present simple to talk about general facts that are always true and permanent about the world:

Ten times ten makes one hundred. (10 x 10 = 100)
There is always a holiday on the last Monday in August in the UK.
Time passes very quickly when you get older.

We use the present simple to talk about general facts that we think are true and permanent at the present time:

I really love my job.
Mrs Clare doesn’t teach me but she teaches my sister.
Do you live in Glasgow? My cousin lives there too.
Spiders don’t frighten me.
Martha does what she wants . No one tells her what to do.

Regular and habitual events

We use the present simple to talk about regular or habitual events. We often use always, often, usually, sometimes, never and other frequency adverbs for regular and habitual events:

How do you get to work? Do you get the bus?
I read every night before I go to sleep.
We always have a holiday in the summer. We never work in August.
We usually fly to France when we go. Lorea doesn’t like the ferry. It makes her feel sick.

Instructions and directions

We use the present simple when we are giving instructions or directions. We often use ordering words, such as and , first and then with this use of the present simple:

[giving directions]

You take the train into the city centre and then you take a number five bus. You don’t get off at the museum. You get off at the stop after the museum.

[giving instructions before a test]

So what you do is … you read the questions first and then you write down your answers in the box. You don’t write on the question paper.

Stories and commentaries

We often use the present simple to describe a series of actions – one action after another. We see this especially in stories, summaries of stories or reviews:

[talking about the series of events in a novel]

Alex doesn’t ring back at midnight … she waits till the morning to ring, and they get annoyed with Liz when she goes on … they know she ’s got plenty of money by their standards …

The present simple is often used by sports commentators to give commentaries or report actions as they are happening:

Mwaruwauri Benjani fouls Cahill. Habsi takes the free kick, Caicedo shoots and volleys . O’Brien blocks .

Immediate reactions

We use the present simple, often with verbs of senses and perception, to talk about feelings and reactions at the moment of speaking:

Do you think that meat is ok to eat? It doesn’t smell very good.
Where does it hurt ?

[talking about the colour of a dress]

I don’t like the colour. I think I look terrible.
It seems a bit quiet in here. Where is everyone?
Don’t you believe me? It’s true, honestly.

I promise , I swear , I agree (speech act verbs)

We use the present simple with speech act verbs (verbs which perform the act that they describe):

I will pay you back, I promise , when I get paid.
I agree with everything you say.

We also use the present simple in a similar way in formal statements and in business or legal communications:

I attach the original signed copies for your records.
On behalf of the Society, and particularly those involved in medical work, I write to thank you for your kind gift of £20,000 … (more formal than I’m writing to thank you … )

Timetables and plans

We use the present simple to talk about events that are part of a future plan or timetable:

The lesson starts at 9.30 tomorrow instead of 10.30.
Lunch is at 12.30. Don’t be late.
What time do you land ? (talking about a flight at some time in the future)
They don’t start back to school until next Monday.

We can also often use will in these sentences, with no change in meaning:

The lesson will start at 9.30 tomorrow instead of 10.30.

Future: present simple to talk about the future ( I work tomorrow )

Present simple after when , before , etc.

We use the present simple for future reference in subordinate clauses after words like when , before , as soon as , if and whether :

I’ll call you when I get there.
Not: I’ll call you when I’ll get there .
Don’t forget to ring before you go .
Not: Don’t forget to ring before you’ll go .
They hope to move in to the new house as soon as they get back from Australia next month.
Not: … as soon as they’ll get back from Australia next month .

Conditionals

Newspaper headlines

We often see the present simple in news headlines to report past events. It emphasises the drama or immediacy of an event:

Man rescues child from lake
Taiwanese envoys arrive in China

Popular searches

{{randomImageQuizHook.quizId}}

Word of the Day

alphanumeric

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

containing or using letters of the alphabet and numbers

No shortage of phrases (The language of large amounts or numbers, Part 2)

No shortage of phrases (The language of large amounts or numbers, Part 2)

resilience hub

Learn more with +Plus

Add ${headword} to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

{{message}}

Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.

Present Simple

Present Simple tense

The Present Simple tense is the most basic tense in English and uses the base form of the verb (except for the verb be ). The only change from the base is the addition of s for third person singular.

How do we make the Present Simple tense?

There are two basic structures for the Present Simple:

1. Positive sentences

2. Negative and question sentences

Look at these examples with the main verb like :

From the above table, notice the following points...

For positive sentences:

For negative and question sentences:

Present Simple with main verb be

The structure of the Present Simple with the main verb be is:

Look at these examples with the main verb be :

How do we use the Present Simple tense?

We use the Present Simple to talk about:

Present Simple for general time

We use the Present Simple tense when:

Look at these examples:

Present Simple for now

For stative verbs, we can use the Present Simple to talk about now . Stative verbs do not describe action. They describe state, and are verbs such as: like, sound, belong to, need, seem . We can use these verbs with the Present Simple tense to talk about a situation at the present time, not general.

Present Simple for general time and now

The verb be is always special. It is a stative verb, and we use it in the Present Simple tense to talk about now situations and about general situations. Look at these examples of the verb be in the Present Simple tense - some are general and some are now :

Back to 12 English Tenses

IMAGES

  1. Present Simple Tense Table

    present simple

  2. 6th RYBG

    present simple

  3. Present Simple Tense: The Present Simple: Affirmative form

    present simple

  4. Present Simple Tense Review in English

    present simple

  5. [Get 39+] View Example For Present Simple Tense Png jpg

    present simple

  6. Our English classroom: Present Simple

    present simple

VIDEO

  1. Simple present 3º

  2. Present simple

  3. Present Simple (+)

  4. present simple

  5. Present Simple 2

  6. Simple Present vs Present Continous

COMMENTS

  1. Present simple

    We use the present simple to talk about: something that is true in the present: I'm nineteen years old. I'm a student. He lives in London. something that happens regularly in the present: I play football every weekend. something that is always true: The human body contains 206 bones. Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.

  2. Simple Present Tense (Present Indefinite)

    Grammarly. The simple present is a verb tense with two main uses. We use the simple present tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite). Depending on the person, the simple present tense is formed by using the root form or by adding s or es ...

  3. The Present Simple Tense

    Present simple tense with other verbs With all other verbs, we make the present simple in the same way. The positive is really easy. It's just the verb with an extra 's' if the subject is 'he', 'she', or 'it'. Let's take the verb 'play' as an example: Don't forget the 's'! Even really advanced students do this!

  4. Present simple

    Grammar explanation We can use the present simple to talk about things we do regularly. I go to the gym three times a week. We drink coffee at work. We can also use it for things which are generally true. She loves her job. A lot of people work at home now. Remember that we add s or es for he, she and it. Sometimes we also change y to i .

  5. The Present Simple Tense

    The Present Simple Tense Examples of the Present Simple. The sun sets in the west. We produce lasers for cosmetic surgery. They move into their... Forming the Present Simple. Time Expressions in the Present Simple. The most common time expressions in the present simple are: usually, always,... ...

  6. Present simple ( I work )

    We use the present simple when we are giving instructions or directions. We often use ordering words, such as and, first and then with this use of the present simple: [giving …

  7. Present Simple

    The Present Simple tense is the most basic tense in English and uses the base form of the verb (except for the verb be ). The only change from the base is the addition of s for third person singular. How do we make the Present Simple tense? There are two basic structures for the Present Simple: 1. Positive sentences 2.