Level: beginner

The present tense is the base form of the verb:

I work in London. 

But with the third person singular (she/he/it), we add an –s:

She works in London.

Present simple questions

Look at these questions:

Do you play the piano?
Where do you live?

Does Jack play football?
Where does he come from?

Do Rita and Angela live in Manchester?
Where do they work?

We use do and does to make questions with the present simple. We use does for the third person singular (she/he/it) and do for the others.

We use do and does with question words like where, what and when:

Where do Angela and Rita live?
What does Angela do?
When does Rita usually get up?

But questions with who often don't use do or does:

Who lives in London?
Who plays football at the weekend?
Who works at Liverpool City Hospital?

Here are some useful questions. Try to remember them:

Where do you come from?
Do you come from …?
Where do you live?
Do you live in ...?
What work do you do?
Do you like …?
Do you know …?

 
Present simple questions 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTYyNjY=

Present simple questions 2

GapFillTyping_MTYyNjc=

Present simple questions 3

ReorderingHorizontal_MTYyNjg=

Present simple questions 4

GapFillTyping_MTYyNjk=

Present simple negatives

Look at these sentences:

I like tennis but I don't like football. (don't = do not)
I don't live in London now.
I don't play the piano but I play the guitar.
They don't work at the weekend.
John doesn't live in Manchester.
(doesn't = does not)
Angela doesn't drive to work. She goes by bus.

We use do and does to make negatives with the present simple. We use doesn't for the third person singular (she/he/it) and don't for the others.

Present simple negatives 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTYyNzE=

Present simple negatives 2

GapFillTyping_MTYyNzI=

Present simple and present time

We use the present simple to talk about:

  • something that is true in the present:

I'm nineteen years old.
I'm a student.
He lives in London.

  • something that happens regularly in the present:

I play football every weekend.

  • something that is always true:

The human body contains 206 bones.
Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.

We often use adverbs of frequency like sometimes, always and never with the present simple:

I sometimes go to the cinema.
She never plays football.

Here are some useful sentences. Complete them so that they are true for you and try to remember them:

My name is … .
I'm … years old.
I come from … .
I live in … .
I'm a(n) … .
I … at the weekend.
I often … .
I never … .

Complete these sentences so that they are true for a friend and try to remember them:

Her/His name is … .
She's/He's … years old.
She/He comes from … .
She/He lives in … .
She's/He's a(n) … .
She/He … at the weekend.
She/He often … .
She/He never … .
Present simple 1

MultipleChoice_MTYyNDA=

Present simple 2

GapFillTyping_MTYyNDE=

Present simple 3

GapFillTyping_MTY2MzY=

Present simple 4

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTYyNTg=

Present simple 5

GapFillTyping_MTYyNjE=

Present simple 6

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTYyNjM=

Present simple 7

GapFillTyping_MTYyNjQ=

Level: intermediate

Present simple and future time

We also use the present simple to talk about:

  • something that is fixed in the future:

The school term starts next week.
The train leaves at 19.45 this evening.
We fly to Paris next week.

  • something in the future after time words like when, after and before and after if and unless:

I'll talk to John when I see him.
You must finish your work before you go home.

If it rains we'll get wet.
He won't come unless you ask him.

Present simple 8

ex. Present simple 8

Level: advanced

We sometimes use the present simple to talk about the past when we are: 

  • telling a story:

I was walking down the street the other day when suddenly this man comes up to me and tells me he has lost his wallet and asks me to lend him some money. Well, he looks a bit dangerous so I'm not sure what to do and while we are standing there 

  • summarising a book, film or play:

Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts School. He has two close friends, Hermione and …

Shakespeare's Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. One night he sees his father's ghost. The ghost tells him he has been murdered 

Basic level

Comments

Hello AriannaC,

As Kirk said, context is key here and it's important not to be too categorical in ruling out forms which may be less common but which can be used in particular contexts. For example, the following dialogue would be perfectly natural in my view:

How is your daughter doing?

 

Not so good. I don't know what the problem is but she's watching TV every morning, she's not getting any exercise and she's not eating anything. I'm really worried.

Where the speaker wants to emphasise an action which is persistent or repeated and is seen as temporary behaviour the present continuous is quite common. Here is another example in which the action is a positive one: 

How is your daughter doing?

 

Oh, great! Since she changed schools things have really improved. She's working harder, getting good results and her teachers are always praising her behaviour in class. I'm so happy!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, i am just struggling to understand when to use s in the third person present simple and when not to use s. i always hear people saying "may the Lord bless you" why not " may the Lord blesses you"?

thanks
Tim

Hello Tim,

We use the -s ending in the present simple for the third-person, as you say. In your example the word 'bless' is not present simple but rather is the base form (infinitive without to) as it follows a modal auxiliary verb ('may'). Modal auxiliaries are not followed by present simple forms, which is why we say 'I may be late' not 'I may am late'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello sir
present simple is used for general facts or truths so if i say "I know him for a long time" i have mentioned time but it is a fact is it correct to state facts with time or i have to say that "I have known him for a long time"

Hello aseel aftab,

The present perfect is needed here if you have an unfinished time reference like 'for a long time'. We would use the present simple without any time reference (making it a general and timeless statement) so you can say either of the following:

I know him.

I've known him for a long time.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, do you give any certificate? i know it is not a question to ask here, but i checked your FQ i did not get an answer

Hi Tim,

LearnEnglish itself is not a course but rather a collection of self-study materials which we provide free of charge for our users and so we do not provide certificates. The British council provides certificates for students who complete a British Council course. To learn more about the British Council in your country you can visit this page. You can also take an external examination such as IELTS to gain certification if this is needed or helpful for you in terms of your career or further studies.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, is there any difference between this two sentences: Is Gideon coming with us?, Does Gideon coming with us? what is the best sentence and why

Hello Tim,

The first sentence is fine and asks about a particular trip. The second sentence, however, is incorrect. You could ask 'Does Gideon come with us?' and this would be a question not about one time but about what is normal or typical.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,

To ask a questions in simple present tense to a third person (She/He/It) we use Does.

We also add -S to the base verb when we refer to third person (She/He/It)

Now based on the above mentioned two rules i have question to you, which is:

Why have you not added the -S to base verb come?

"Does Gideon Comes with us?"

Pages