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 Tim,

LearnEnglish itself is not a course but rather a collection of self-study materials which we provide free of charge for our users and so we do not provide certificates. The British council provides certificates for students who complete a British Council course. To learn more about the British Council in your country you can visit this page. You can also take an external examination such as IELTS to gain certification if this is needed or helpful for you in terms of your career or further studies.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, is there any difference between this two sentences: Is Gideon coming with us?, Does Gideon coming with us? what is the best sentence and why

Hello Tim,

The first sentence is fine and asks about a particular trip. The second sentence, however, is incorrect. You could ask 'Does Gideon come with us?' and this would be a question not about one time but about what is normal or typical.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,

To ask a questions in simple present tense to a third person (She/He/It) we use Does.

We also add -S to the base verb when we refer to third person (She/He/It)

Now based on the above mentioned two rules i have question to you, which is:

Why have you not added the -S to base verb come?

"Does Gideon Comes with us?"

Hi nitinsharma,

We add -s to the base form with the third person, as you say, but on in affirmative sentences. In questions and negatives it is the auxiliary which is marked for third person:

Gideon comes with us. (affirmative)

Does Gideon come with us. (question)

Gideon doesn't come with us. (negative)

Only one part of the verb form is marked for third person. In affirmative sentences it is the main verb and in questions and negatives it is the auxiliary verb.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter, thanks for your helpful answers and i really appreciate. since i started to learn your courses i am improving in my English. Now, i am a bit confused, because i studied the present simple, you said we use do and does to ask questions but what make the first sentence correct? Is Gideon coming with us? why we use is and not does?

Thanks

Tim

Hello again Tim,

In 'Is Gideon coming with us?', the verb is in the present continuous. In 'Does Gideon come with us?' is present simple.

'do' and 'does' are only used in the present simple, not in the present continuous. The present continuous uses a form of the verb 'be' ('is', 'am' or 'are') instead.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi. is there a difference between these sentences and what is the correct sentence? The train leaves at 1945 this evening, The train will leave at 1945 this evening, the train is leaving at 1945 this evening

Hello Tim,

The differences between these forms is explained on our talking about the future page. Please take a look and then if you have any specific questions about the topic, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, what kind of present simple is used in this sentence, ''So finally.. Helen proves to be a better dancer''? This sentence doesn't seem to have the ''always true'' form.

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