The present tense is the base form of the verb: I work in London.
But the third person (she/he/it) adds an -s: She works in London.

Use

We use the present tense to talk about:

  • something that is true in the present:

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

  • something that happens again and again in the present:

I play football every weekend.

We use words like sometimes, often. always, and never (adverbs of frequency) with the present tense:

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

  • something that is always true:

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

  

  • something that is fixed in the future.

The school term starts next week.
The train leaves at 1945 this evening.
We fly to Paris next week.

 

Questions and negatives

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?

  • With the present tense, we use do and does to make questions. We use does for the third person (she/he/it) and we use do for the others.

 

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

 

 But look at these questions with who:

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

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.

  • With the present tense we use do and does to make negatives. We use does not (doesn’t) for the third person (she/he/it) and we use do not (don’t) for the others.

Complete these sentences with don’t or doesn’t:

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello Patrizia L,

Both can be correct -- it depends on what you mean. If you mean Jenny does this most every day, i.e. it is her routine, then the first one is correct. But if, for example, you're referring to a specific temporary time period (e.g. while she is staying with her grandparents for a week), the second form would be better. Please see our talking about the present page for more examples.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I disagree with you. We can't say: She IS WATCHING TV every morning. We can say "She watches TV every morning" or we can say "She has been watching TV every morning for the past two weeks".
We can only say "is watching" to talk about the continuous action in the present: She is watching TV NOW.

Hello Arianna,

If there's no context, I'd agree with you, but in context you could hear it. For example, imagine your daughter has been staying with her grandparents in Ohio for the past week. You've just spoken to her grandmother and find out she's been watching TV every morning while she's there. If your partner asks you how your daughter is, knowing that she likes to watch TV but that you normally don't let her at home, you could say, 'She's great! She's watching TV every morning'. You could still say this even if you're speaking at night, i.e. when it's not the morning at the time of speaking.

Does that make sense? It's not a common use, but it's useful to see that the continuous aspect is used for more than speaking about the present moment.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I still disagree. You could say: "She HAS BEEN WATCHING TV every morning." or "She WATCHES TV every morning." "She is watching" is the Present Continuous: "She IS WATCHING TV NOW." If someone asked how my daughter is doing, I would never say "She IS WATCHING TV every morning." , just as I would never say "I AM BRUSHING my teeth EVERY MORNING.", "He IS RUNNING four miles EVERY MORNING.", or "I AM GOING to work EVERY MORNING.". I would say:"She's fine, but she HAS BEEN WATCHING TV every morning and I'm not really happy about that."

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

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