present simple

 

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

Comments

Dear teacher!

Why dont you show all type of words in the present simple when they go with different subjects in
this lesson.

For example: He works ( He/she/it + W(s) or He cries ( V+ies)

I work ( you/ I/we) + V (infinitve)

Hello KimToi,

There is only one inflection in the present simple in English, as the page states:

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.

 

There is no need to list all of the forms which are identical (I/you/we/you/they) when it is simpler to note the one which is different.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there,

I always wondered which of the below two sentences is correct -
'Mahatma Gandhi was the father of Nation' or
'Mahatma Gandhi is the father of nation'.

After some research on the internet, I found one example of a similar kind (if 'is' or 'was' should be used for something that happened in the past).

The example sentenced used is : 'She is / was married'.
The explanation given there is -
" 'married' is more the status of the subject after the action of marrying. if it is still true that she is married, then the present tense should be used. Hence, the right usage for this context would be 'She is married'.

however, if she is no longer married, you can use 'she was married'.
hence, concluding that, though the action of marrying happened in the past, if she is still married, the right usage would be 'she is married', but not 'she was married'.

It made sense and I applied it to my original question.
I would use 'Mahatma Gandhi is the father of Nation' because the complement 'father of nation' is still true even today thought Mahatma Gandhi passed away long time ago.

Now apply the same concept to the sentence below :
"Indira Gandhi is / was the foremost politician of her times'. As the complement 'foremost politician of her times' is still true to day, I would be inclined to say that the right usage is - 'Indira Gandhi is the foremost politician of her times'.

Can you please confirm if my understanding and the reasoning behind it is correct?

Regards, Ram.

Hello Ram,

The present simple can be used in the way you've used it to speak about Mahatma Gandhi as the father of a nation. The past simple could be also be used, however – choosing one or the other depends on the perspective you want to take. The past simple makes more sense in the sentence about Indira Gandhi, as you are speaking about a specific past time ('of her times') rather than current times.

Also, please note that 'to be married' is a phrase used to indicate someone's marital status, not to talk about the time of their marriage. In this case, 'married' is an adjective. 'to get married', in contrast, is generally used to talk about the action of marrying, e.g. 'I got married in Las Vegas'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teachers.
I wonder if this sentence correct? If you could tell me the form of the tense, please?
This is the sentence (She never has Chines food)

Hello Karzan_Camus,

The sentence is fine, apart from the misspelling of 'Chinese'.

It is a normal setence in the present simple with the verb 'have' and an adverb of frequency ('never').

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi sir :
I want ask about
use present continuous
for something which is happening before and after a given time:
At eight o'clock we are usually having breakfast.
isn't habit , something that happens again and again in the present
we should say
At eight o'clock we usually have breakfast

Hello nkmg,

Both the present simple and present continuous are correct in these sentences. They are both talking about the same event, but look at it from different perspectives. When you use the present simple, you are simply talking about a habit, and this is probably the most commonly used form for this kind of statement.

The present continuous can be used, as in the example, when you're speaking not about a habit, but a particular point in time - in this case, 8:00 (not 8:05 or 7:57, but 8:00). Imagine if you looked at a video recording of this family's kitchen that is made every morning. If you compared what was happening at 8 am every day, you'd find the family in the middle of eating at that time. That is the action they are performing at 8:00 began before that time, and continued afterwards.

This is just one example of the kind of perspective that using the present continuous can imply here. I hope it helps clarify it for you.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

could you tell me how to find out the difference between present tense that always true and the present tense which happens again and again particularly with "never"
Thanks

Dear LearnEnglish Team,

Would you mind to tell me about the right form for "always" usage that followed by v1if the Subject is she/he/it?
Is it the same form as will/can +v1?

● She works
1. She can work.(Correct)
2. She will work. (Correct)
3. She always work. ( ? )
4. She always works. ( ? )

Thank you.

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