Simple Present Tense

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.

Example:

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.
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