English Language Languages

The Present Simple Tense in English

Simple Present Tense is a type of sentence that has the function of expressing an activity or fact that occurs in the present and that, structurally or in its arrangement, simple present tense uses one verb only.

Present Tense is one of the verb tense forms. It explains simple acts, facts, futures, and circumstances. The formation is rather simple and the verb’s base form is used.

It is verb tense.  A ‘verb’ is an action word.  The ‘tense’ is the time of the action.  The ‘present’ is now. It shows how the past is connected to the present/now.

Structure / Formula of Present Simple Tense

The formula of the simple present tense affirmative is,

Subject + Base Form(V1)+’s’ or ‘es’ + rest of the sentence

If the subject is he, she or it, there is an addition of ‘s’ or ‘es’ with base form. For example, He eats a banana daily.

If the subject is you, we, they or any plural form, only base form is used. For example, They eat a banana daily.

Simple Present Tense Negative:

Subject + do not / does not + base form + rest of the sentence.

With the singular subject, we use ‘does not’ while with the plural, we use ‘do not’. For example,

  • He does not eat a banana daily.
  • They do not eat a banana daily.

Simple Present Tense Interrogative:

Do / Does + subject + base form + rest of the sentence +?

Interrogative sentences start with ‘do’ or ‘does’. For example,

  • Does he eat apples daily?
  • Do they eat apples daily?

Uses of Present Simple Tense:

1. Something which is true or factual :

-General – “Chinese people eat a lot of rice.”

-Permanent – “I am a teacher.”  “He is a father.”

-Mathematical/scientific – “One plus one equals two.”  “Water freezes at 0c.”

-Habitual – “I drink coffee every day.”

-Recurring – “It snows every winter.”

-Eternal/Unvarying – “The Bible says ‘You must not kill’.”

-Mental state – “I think she is very kind.”

2. Describing Feelings and Senses – “I feel very cold.”  “I’m freezing.”

3. Giving instructions, directions, or demonstrations – “Open the box on the table, take out the hand beater, and beat the eggs until they are creamy.”

4.Timetables – “The train leaves at midnight.”

Examples

  • Smoking causes cancer.
  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Cats are cute.
  • The Danube River flows through Vienna, Austria.
  • Five times five equals twenty-five.
  • Babies eatsleep, and cry.
  • Flowers need sunlight and water to grow.
  • We live in Dubai.
  • My mother works at an elementary school.
  • play football and basketball.
  • Accountants prepare tax returns.
  • Seamstresses sewhem, and repair clothing.
  • Racecar drivers drive fast.
  • Where do you work?
  • I don’t ride the bus. I take the metro to work.
  • On Friday mornings, I sleep late.
  • My father rides the bus to work once a week.
  • His girlfriend never drinks alcohol.
  • When I’m tired, I watch television.
  • They rarely win any matches.
  • I always call my mother on her birthday.
  • The flight to Paris departs at five o’clock tonight.
  • Don’t worry, the bus comes every 20 minutes.
  • When does the football game start?
  • Class begins in two minutes.
  • The conference ends on Monday.
  • want that new dress. (NOT: I’m wanting that new dress)
  • love hamburgers. (NOT: I’m loving hamburgers).
  • Do you smell popcorn?
  • She understands this grammar.
  • I don’t like apples.
  • They are very happy together.

See Also
Count and Non-Counts Noun

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