Present Simple for intermediate learners

All the power is in the present moment. In this lesson, you will learn all there is about the present simple tense.

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"Present Simple" Tense in English Grammar

What Is Simple Present?

The simple present tense is very common in English. As its name states, it is mainly used for talking about the present time.

Structure

In English, we have two kinds of verbs that are listed below:

Now, let us see how each group is used in the 'simple present' tense:

Regular Verbs

In the 'simple present' tense, regular verbs are used in their base form except for the third person singular. Study the following examples carefully:

I read a book before bed.

They speak calmly.

The third-person singular tense comes with an '-s' at the end of the verb. Look at the examples below:

Simon talks a lot.

She watches 'Friends' every night.

Tip!

Remember that when the verb ends in 'zz, 'sh', 'ch', 'ss', and 'x', we add '-es' to the end of it when it is used in the third person singular. Look at the following examples:

He kisses her dog every morning.

She does the dishes all the time.

Irregular Verbs

In English, some verbs are irregular and change completely based on different tenses used. 'To be' and 'to have' are irregular verbs. Let us see how they work:

Personal Pronouns To Be To Have
I am have
He/She/It is has
We/You/They are have

Now, let us look at some examples below:

She is a literature teacher at school.

We have a tough exam tomorrow.

Warning!

Remember that if you want to change the sentence to a negative one, use the auxiliary verbs 'do' and 'does'. Look at the following examples:

I don't read anymore.

She doesn't care about you at all.

We can also use this tense in questions. Take a look at the following examples:

Do I have a class tomorrow?

Here, we must have an auxiliary verb.

Are you sick?

As you can see, we do not need an auxiliary verb.

Uses

The 'simple present' tense in English is used in many different contexts. However, we are going to learn about some of its main uses as listed below:

  • General Facts
  • Hobbies
  • Habits
  • Future Plans
  • State of Being

General Facts

When we want to talk about scientific facts or things that we are sure of, we mainly use the 'simple present' tense. Look at the examples below:

Babies cry when they are hungry.

If you don't water your plant, it dies.

Hobbies

Another use of the 'simple present' tense is to talk about hobbies. Hobbies are activities that we do in our free time. Carefully study the following examples:

I read a book in my break time at school.

Whenever she is free, she goes to the gym.

Tip!

It is useful to know that we can also use the 'simple present' tense when we want to talk about what we like and what we do not like. Look at the following examples:

He likes to become a guitarist.

As you can see, only the verb 'like' changes according to the subject and the main verb remains the same.

I don't like to wake up early at all.

Beliefs

We can also use the 'simple present' tense to talk about what we believe in or our thoughts on something. Take a look at the following examples:

She doesn't believe in God anymore.

They think English is easy.

State of Being

When we want to talk about how we feel about something or someone, we mainly use the 'simple present' tense. Study the following examples carefully:

I am happy right now.

As you can see, the sentence is about how we are feeling.

She isn't angry anymore.

Future Plans

Another use of the 'simple present' tense is to talk about events in the future that are fixed. Take a look at the following examples:

The plane leaves at 7:30 in the morning.

As you can see, there is a fixed time in the sentence.

He gives a lecture at 8:00.

Tip!

When we want to talk about our jobs, we can also use the 'simple present' tense. Look at the following examples:

I work at a café.

She is a hotel manager.

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