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Present Simple

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Beginning to intermediate level English learners can use this quick overview of the present simple tense to learn uses and examples of the present tense to speak about routines, facts, and opinions. Examples are provided for each use of the present simple, as well as the structure for positive, negative and questions. To practice the present simple read about Tim's Day.

Present Simple

Listed below are uses with examples, and the structure of the present simple tense.

Permanent or long-lasting situations

Where do you work?
The store opens at 9 o'clock.
She lives in New York.

Regular habits and daily routines

I usually get up at 7 o'clock.
She doesn't often go to the cinema.
When do they usually have lunch?

Facts

The Earth revolves around the Sun.
What does 'strange' mean?
Water doesn't boil at 20 degrees.

Feelings

I love walking around late at night during the summer.
She hates flying!
What do you like? I don't want to live in Texas.

Opinions and states of mind

He doesn't agree with you.
I think he is a wonderful student.
What do you consider your best accomplishment?

Timetables and schedules

The plane leaves at 4 p.m.
When do courses begin this semester?
The train doesn't arrive until 10.35.

Common present time expressions include:

usually, always, often, sometimes, on Saturdays, at weekends (on weekends US English), rarely, on occasion, never, seldom

You can test your understanding with this present simple quiz.

Structure

Positive

In the positive form add an 's' to the base form of the 3rd person singular. If the verb ends in -y preceded by a consonant, change the -y to -ies.

I, You, We, They -> eat lunch at noon.

He, She, It -> works well in any situation.

Negative

Conjugate the helping verb 'do' not (don't and doesn't) the base form of the verb to make negatives.

I, You, We, They -> don't enjoy opera.

He, She, It -> doesn't belong to the club.

Questions

Conjugate the helping verb 'do' (do or does) the base form of the verb in question forms.

Do -> I, you, we, they -> work in this town?

Does -> he, she, it -> live in this city?

Teachers can find tips on how to teach present simple which includes lesson plans and activities.

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