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:



I am bit confused about the below statements, which one is correct/more suitable:
1) The school holidays start on June 21st.
2)The school holidays will start on June 21st.

Thanking you in advance...

Hi QaaZee,

Both forms are possible. The present simple (start) can be used because the school holidays are a scheduled event. The modal verb will can be used because the speaker is talking about a future which is definite.

There are other possible reasons for the use of will. For example, the speaker may have just decided when the school holidays will start. The context is unknown, so we can only speculate which form would be better. Without any context to guide us, we can only say that both are possible.



The LearnEnglish Team

hi.... which one is correct and the difference between them if want to talk about my self :
1) iam studying computer engineering
2) i study computer engineering
with explain please

Hi zghoul,

Generally speaking, we use continuous forms when an action is incomplete, in progress or temporary.


In this case the first sentence tells us that either the speaker is in the process of studying computer engineering right now (they could be preparing for a test on this subject, for example) or the speaker is a student of this subject but sees it as a temporary situation. For example, they might say I'm studying computer engineering at the moment, but soon I'll finish my studies and find a job.


We use simple forms when something is seen as a permanent situation which we do not expect to change in the near future. A person might say this when they are a student and will remain a student for the foreseeable future, or if they are a researcher whose profession is the study of a certain topic.



The LearnEnglish Team

Sir which sentence is correct:
1) Words that confuse you the most.
2) Words which confuse you the most.
And what is the correct usage of "which" and "that" ?
Thank you in advance

Hello SahilK,

Both 'that' and 'which' can be used here. These are examples of relative pronouns which are used in relative clauses. You can use 'that' to refer to people and things. You can use 'which' to refer only to things ('who' is used to refer to people). 'Which' can be used in defining and non-defining relative clauses while 'that' can only be used in defining relative clauses.

You can read more about relative pronouns and relative clauses on these pages:

relative pronouns

relative clauses

defining relative clauses

non-defining relative clauses


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Consider this sentence: "They usually pay the bills on time."

In the Exercise the correct answer is : Happens again and again. But from the word "usually" we can conclude that it is true for most of the time but not always. So the answer should be True in the present.
Please can anyone explain me why am I wrong ??

Hello khmsayush,

The idea here is that the people pay the bills on a fixed schedule. Sometimes they are late, but it implies they pay each time they need to. It's not true in the present, because it's not really speaking about the present -- it's speaking about the schedule. The payment is something that happens regularly, i.e. again and again.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Kirk. I found this sentence in a filling in exercise on the web, and the correct answer was present continuous. It was out of context.

How can you be of help for me to study the IELTS course in the UK? Because here in Nigeria there's nothing like such.