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

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Present simple questions 2

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Present simple questions 3

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Present simple questions 4

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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

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Present simple negatives 2

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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 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 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

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Present simple 2

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Present simple 3

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Present simple 4

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Present simple 5

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Present simple 6

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Present simple 7

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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 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

Comments

Hello team!
I have a question.Does these questions have the same meaning?
"What do you ask on my mind?"
"What is on my mind you ask?"

Hello Goktung123,

The first question is not correct. The second question is grammatically correct, but there should be a comma before 'you'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Re: a comma after a phrase and before the subject
For example: At the weekend she likes to go for a walk in the country or to go swimming in the pool near her home.
My question is - a comma after 'At the weekend ' before 'she' is wrong to have or is it an option?
Please let me know
Regards
Lal

Hi Lal

I would put a comma there, but not everyone would. If you're writing for a publication, the style guide used by the publishing house will likely prefer one usage or the other.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir
This is regarding commas after a conjunction e.g. I turned the corner, and ran smack into a petrol car. (incorrect) So the correct one is without the comma before 'and' I am I correct but I would like to know this sentence is correct. I turned the corner and, I ran smack into a petrol car. ( a comma after and but with the subject 'I.'
Please let me know.
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

hello sir
i wanna know which sentences are correct and let me know why?
doctor: what's the matter? patient: my head hurts
what's the matter?my head is hurting

Hello mazi70,

Both forms are possible but the present simple ('hurts') is more likely. The continuous form would be used when the pain suddenly occurs, not when there is an ongoing problem.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello peter
i'm a bit confused
we use simple present for permanent situation and continuous for temporary situation too
the patient's head hurts for a short time e.x 2 days or a week but it's not permanent situation ,it's temporary situation
may i ask you explain it to me more
thank you

Hello mazi70,

The continuous form here would emphasise that the pain is happening as the person speaks rather than being a constant feeling:

My head hurts = it's sore

My head is hurting = it wasn't sore some time (a moment) ago but now it is

 

Thus, if we are talking about a problem which is constant (even if it only began yesterday) then we would use the simple form. If we are talking about, say, an intermittent pain which comes and goes then the continuous form.

My head hurts all the time. It started a week ago.

My head is hurting. It was fine when I came in but now it's quite painful.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk,
Thank you for helping me regarding 'If a person is trying to go up the ladder...Help me to understand this ,too: 'give them' but not 'give him' Is it because 'both genders.' without telling 'him or her.' Please let me know.
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

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