The Present Simple

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Welcome to your Present Simple lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• What is the Present Simple?
How to use verb+s
When do we use the Present Simple?
Forming questions and negative sentences
Other uses of the Present Simple
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.


What is the Present Simple?

Here are a few examples of present simple sentences:

I live in London.

Marie drives to work every morning.

We love the beach.

Live, drives, and love are examples of verbs in the present simple.


How to use verb+s

When you use the 3rd person singular (that’s when you’re talking about one person, or one thing, and that person or thing is not present) you have to add an s to the end of the verb. This only happens in affirmative sentences, however:

David loves Sarah.

(not “David love Sarah.“)

It works.

(not “It work.“)


When do we use the Present Simple?

The present simple is used to talk about things in general, to say that something is true in general, and to say that something happens all the time:

We go to the restaurant every Saturday.

They work in the hospital.

It is cold in the mountains.


Forming questions and negative sentences

Do and does are the auxiliaries used to form questions and negative sentences in the present simple:

It doesn’t take long to get to London.

Where do you work?

I don’t know Paul.

What instruments does she play?

I / You / We / They → do
He / She / It → does

Sometimes, do is also the main verb:

What do you do?

They don’t do the washing up.


Other uses of the Present Simple

The present simple is also used to say how often things happen:

We take the bus at 6am every morning.

They sometimes drive to work.

We go to the beach every summer.


Recap

  • The present simple is used to say something is true in general, it happens all the time, or to say how often something happens.
  • The auxiliaries are do and does.
  • We add an s at the end of 3rd person singular, affirmative sentences.

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