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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 

Basic level


hello, I'm Fabio i have some doubt about the right answer to "he never drinks beer" sentence in 10/12 question of present tense's indicate "happens again and  again" while I have answered "always true", my doubt is about  "never", I have thought that it means an action always done and so, always's wrong?
thanks in advance..:)

Hello paperinique!
I can understand your confusion. Here, though, it's still an action, not a fact like Monday is the first day of the week. Think of it as meaning He doesn't drink beer. Offer him a beer on Monday, he says no. Offer him a beer on Tuesday, he says no. Offer him a beer on Wednesday, he says no ... As you can see, it's an action that happens again and again! I shouldn't worry too much about it though - the important thing is to use present tenses for a statement like that.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you very much.....:)

Thank God! i've understood Pr.Simple! Now I'll start Continuous form... 

I have a question,
the school terms starts next week
the school terms (plural),right???
so why (starts)???? should not  be start????

You are absolutely right! I've changed the text so it now says 'term'. Thanks for pointing this out and please tell us if you see any other problems on the site.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone.

Are there any negative form for questions in present simple?

Hello vicanto!
Yes, there are. They take the form Do/Doesn't + subject + verb object? - Don't you like chocolate?

They are less common as questions, and are usually used to show we are surprised or expecting a different answer.

Hope that helps!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot Jeremy!

Hello :)
I have one question. You wrote that we use present simple when something is fixed in the future.
The train leaves at 1945 this evening. - I understand that because we use present simple for schedules. 
But : We fly to Paris next week. I learned earlier, that in this case we use present continuous. So from my point of view it should be : We are flying to Paris next week.
Now I have problem which, simple or continuous should I use. :)