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Present simple

Level: beginner

The present tense is the base form of the verb:

I work in London. 

But with the third person singular (she/he/it), we add an –s:

She works in London.

Present simple questions

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?

We use do and does to make questions with the present simple. We use does for the third person singular (she/he/it) and do for the others.

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

Where do Angela and Rita live?
What does Angela do?
When does Rita usually get up?

But questions with who often don't use do or does:

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

Here are some useful questions. Try to remember them:

Where do you come from?
Do you come from …?
Where do you live?
Do you live in ...?
What work do you do?
Do you like …?
Do you know …?

Present simple questions 1


Present simple questions 2


Present simple questions 3


Present simple questions 4


Present simple negatives

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.

We use do and does to make negatives with the present simple. We use doesn't for the third person singular (she/he/it) and don't for the others.

Present simple negatives 1


Present simple negatives 2


Present simple and present time

We use the present simple to talk about:

  • something that is true in the present:

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

  • something that happens regularly in the present:

I play football every weekend.

  • something that is always true:

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

We often use adverbs of frequency like sometimes, always and never with the present simple:

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

Here are some useful sentences. Complete them so that they are true for you and try to remember them:

My name is … .
I'm … years old.
I come from … .
I live in … .
I'm a(n) … .
I … at the weekend.
I often … .
I never … .

Complete these sentences so that they are true for a friend and try to remember them:

Her/His name is … .
She's/He's … years old.
She/He comes from … .
She/He lives in … .
She's/He's a(n) … .
She/He … at the weekend.
She/He often … .
She/He never … .
Present simple 1


Present simple 2


Present simple 3


Present simple 4


Present simple 5


Present simple 6


Present simple 7


Level: intermediate

Present simple and future time

We also use the present simple to talk about:

  • something that is fixed in the future:

The school term starts next week.
The train leaves at 19.45 this evening.
We fly to Paris next week.

  • something in the future after time words like when, after and before and after if and unless:

I'll talk to John when I see him.
You must finish your work before you go home.

If it rains we'll get wet.
He won't come unless you ask him.

Present simple 8

ex. Present simple 8

Level: advanced

We sometimes use the present simple to talk about the past when we are: 

  • telling a story:

I was walking down the street the other day when suddenly this man comes up to me and tells me he has lost his wallet and asks me to lend him some money. Well, he looks a bit dangerous so I'm not sure what to do and while we are standing there 

  • summarising a book, film or play:

Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts School. He has two close friends, Hermione and …

Shakespeare's Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. One night he sees his father's ghost. The ghost tells him he has been murdered 


Hello everyone. Please help.
In this sentence "he never drinks beer" ,why not "drink"?

Hello nebibin,
This is a sentence with a verb in the Present Simple tense (click here for more information and an exercise on this). When we make a sentence with this tense in the third person (he, she or it) then we add -s to the verb, and so we need to have 'drinks' in the sentence.
I hope that helps you.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

its because . he/she/it are third person singular. so we have to add "s" to the main verb. e.g. 1=he plays 2 = it runs 3= she goes to school at 8.30 am
I Hope You understand

Thanks suresh143143.
Then can you help me. What's the difference between I feel hungry and I am feeling hungry? Thanks before.

thanks a lot ...

Sorry to correct again. A language teacher does not have to know science, (s)he is good at sg else. You are much better in English than me.
But if you want a quality website, I propose to change "Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second." to "Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second in vacuum.". Because the speed of photons is not constant, but changes when they light enters into a different kind of matter. Moreover, "Light of different frequencies may travel through matter at different speeds; this is called dispersion. In some cases, it can result in extremely slow speeds of light in matter."

Hello jratkai!
Thank you for another interesting comment! However, this website is written for English learners, and is not intended as a scientific reference; the page demonstrates features of English grammar. The detail you add is not really suitable for many of our learners, and, as I suggest in answer to your comment below, the statement itself is not exactly wrong.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Wrong example: "something that is always true:
The human body contains 206 bones."
"At birth, there are over 270 bones in an infant human's body, but many of these fuse together as the child grows, leaving a total of 206 separate bones in an adult."

Hello jratkai, again!
Well, it's not exactly wrong, since in statements like these you are assumed to be talking about a standard, fully developed body - someone who has lost a limb will have fewer bones, for example, but this does not invalidate the statement. Qualifying every single statement can lead to a lot of repetition and unnecessary detail, and in different circumstances, (as, for example, on an English language web page rather than in an encyclopaedia) different degrees of accuracy are needed. I have, however, edited the page to add the word adult.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team