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.


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:



Hello According to how we use the present tense eg.for habits which category does this sentence fall into, "She wants to give me my cheque."

Hello Lamastry,

This is something which is true in the present. 'Want' is a verb which does not occur in continuous forms in general as it is a verb expressing thoughts and feelings.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


In story, sport commentary, demonstrations or when we said jokes, must we use only Present Simple?

Hello Lucifer7,

No, you can also use the present continuous or use the narrative tenses (e.g. past simple, past continuous, past perfect).

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I'm confused by this sentence "it's taking me time to get my fitnesss up". Is this another way of saying "I'm taking time to get my fitness up"?

The present continuous is used here to indicate temporary action. Whereas if the present simple is used it will indicate the person's habit. Do you think I'm right, sir?

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,


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.