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

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
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,

Peter

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,
Kirk
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.

Hello Daniel,

There are some links to useful resources on the Courses and resources page of the British Council in Nigeria that should give you a good start. TakeIELTS is another great resource for IELTS preparation and Study UK has information on different study options in the UK.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Could you help me please ?
Which one is correct: Jenny watches tv every morning or Jenny is watching tv every morning

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