This is the most common and basic tense in English. You will encounter it at least several times a day when learning English. Therefore, it is very important to master how to use this tense and practice it in real-life situations.
1/ There are 3 forms in which present simple tense might be used:
- Statement: You speak English.
- Question: Do you speak English?
- Negative: You do not speak English.
Note: In the third person singular, -s or -es is added.
- Statement: He speaks English.
- Question: Does he speak English?
- Negative: He does not speak English.
2/ How to use present simple tense: It is used to describe an action that happens with repetition, a habit, a daily event, a scheduled event, or a fact. In some rare situations, it is used to talk about scheduled actions in the near future and, in some cases, actions happening now.
Repeated Actions:an action is repeated or usual
- I play tennis.
- She does not play tennis.
- Does he play tennis?
Facts or Generalizations: a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future
- California is in America.
- California is not in the United Kingdom.
- Windows are made of glass.
Scheduled Events in the Near Future: This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation
- 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?
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.
- She is not here now.
- He needs help right now.
- He does not need help now.