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

"Does Jack play football?" Jack is 3rd person used does,I understood.
But this sentence"Do Rita and Angela live in Manchester?"Rita and Angela I think is 3rd person ,why this sentence used do not does?
In my mind (she/he/it/name)are third person,is it correct?

Hello Ice,

The subject in the sentence is 'Rita and Angela', which describes two people. Therefore it is a plural subject and needs a plural verb. If we replaced 'Rita and Angela' with a pronoun we would use 'they'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

The following example from the above exercise:

'The President speaks to the nation at 4p.m.'

If I say 'The President will speak to the nation at 4 p.m.' Will it be grammatically correct? As we are talking about a future event, adding 'will' should be okay.

Please let me know.

Kind Regards,
SK

Hello SK,

Yes, the sentence with 'will' is also correct. Note that we use many different tenses to talk about the future even though many of them are not called 'future'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,

One more question for my understanding. Refer to your the above example sentences.
-The school term starts next week.
-The train leaves at 1945 this evening.
-We fly to Paris next week.
All sentences we can add "will" and I can say "The school term will start next week. The train will leave at 1945 this evening. We will fly to Paris next week." If it is grammatically correct.

Please let me know
Best Regards,
Montri

Hello Montri,

Yes, you can say each of these with the present simple or with 'will'. If you use the present simple then you are describing an activity which happens regularly and repeatedly every hour, day, week, month, year etc. If you use 'will' then you are describing one particular event which may or may not be repeated or regular.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello
Why we don't write lives instead of live in my parents live in a very small flat
Also takes instead of take in the Olympic Games take place every four years
Thank you in advance

Hello Mahdi,

The 's' is only added to the verb when the subject is in the third person singular. 'Olympic Games' and 'my parents' are both third person plural.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team,

can you please explain the following examples

1.they work in livepool
2. they do not work at the weekend

Here "they" is third person but why not used "s" and "does"??

Hello learnfromgopal,

Only the third person singular forms ('he', 'she' and 'it) take the final 's' or 'does'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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