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 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

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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 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

Comments

Hello Lal,

The questions should be as follows:

Who did the washing up?

Who did it? / Who did this?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Re: each + singular verb/plural verb
Please let me know whether these sentences are correct or not.
Each year trees shed their leaves.
Each boy and girl has a laptop.
Each and every boy has a laptop.
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hello Sir
Thank you very much for your answer to my question 'Do you live in a house or a flat?'
Now it is very clear.
Thank you again.
Regards
Lal

Hello Sir
Do you live in a house or a flat?
In the above sentence: 'in' after 'or' is not written. Is it not necessary to write or is it understood? For e.g. Do you live in a house or in a flat?
Please let me know.
Regards
Lal

Hello Lal,

You can omit the second 'in' here. We often omit repeated words. For example, all of the following are grammatically correct:

Do you live in a house or do you live in a flat?

Do you live in a house or live in a flat?

Do you live in a house or in a flat?

Do you live in a house or a flat?

Do you live in a house or flat?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Regarding my last question from you: 'Why each have not each has '
e,g. Perriss is in charge of 1000 man - hours ...
Before I wrote to you I refered to OXFORD SENIOR LEARNERS DICTIONARY but I couldn't find the answer but just now I refered to CAMBRIDGE ONLINE DICTIONARY there I found the answer: when each followrs a plural subject
the verb, nouns and pronuns are plural.
In my question : ... a key team of four, who each have ...
The writer used 'have' because of the phrase ' a key team of four'
I am I correct ?
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hello Lal,

It is possible to use a singular or a plural verb after 'each'. If the noun following 'each' is singular, then a singular verb is used; if it is plural, then a plural verb is used:

each person was

each of the people were

 

In the example you quote, 'who each' refers back to the four people in the team, so a plural verb is used.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hello Sir
I would like to know why the writer has used 'have' instead of 'has' in the sentence given below. Normaly I use singular verb with each, every, either, neither.
Perriss is in charge of 1,000 man hours a week across the store. To help him,
he has a key team of four, who 'each have' direct responsibility for different departments.
My question: please let me know why 'each have' not 'each has'
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hi,
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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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