Present simple

young man cooking

Do you know how to use the present simple? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how we use the present simple. 

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.
My dad phones me every day.
She doesn't like her job.
What time do you get up at weekends?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar A1-A2: Present simple: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

We can use the present simple to talk about things we do regularly.

I go to the gym three times a week.
We
drink coffee at work.

We can also use it for things which are generally true.

She loves her job.
A lot of people
work at home now.

Remember that we add s or es for he, she and it. Sometimes we also change y to i

My favourite TV show starts at 8 o'clock.
She
finishes work early on Fridays.
My brother
studies at university.

The he, she and it forms for have, do and go are irregular. 

He has a flat in the city centre.
She
does yoga on Tuesdays.
My dog goes for a walk every morning.

For the negative, we use don't or doesn't.

We don't eat meat.
She
doesn't have a lot of free time.

For questions, we use do or does.

Do you watch a lot of films?
Does he speak English?

+ Affirmative - Negative ? Question
I like ice cream. I don't like ice cream. Do I like ice cream?
You go to the gym. You don't go to the gym. Do you go to the gym?
He/she/it eats meat. He/she/it doesn't eat meat. Does he/she/it eat meat?
We watch a lot of films. We don't watch a lot of films.  Do we watch a lot of films?
They work at home. They don't work at home. Do they work at home?

Short answers

We can answer questions with Yes, I/you/we/they do, Yes, he/she/it does, or No, I/you/we/they don't or No, he/she/it doesn't.

Do you like cheese? 
Yes, I do.

Does she play football on Saturdays?
No, she doesn't.

Questions with question words

We can also put question words like what, where, who or what time before do or does.

Where do you work?
What time does he have lunch?

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Present simple: Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.1 (117 votes)
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Submitted by iamnotbrittish on Tue, 20/02/2024 - 13:13

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I did that days ago, for that you should say:
I was walking to the bus station once

but if you did it today:
I am walking to the bus station

Submitted by HLH on Wed, 31/01/2024 - 23:45

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Hi Jonathan
simple present with performatives
1- Can I use any verb simple present with performatives or are there only some verbs ?
2 - Is the meaning now start by saying and finished in the present or doesn't finish ?
example
- I suggest you park outside the city and get the bus to the center (mean suggest starts by saying and finished in the present or doesn't finish )

- we request that you read the terms and conditions carefully before signing
(mean request starts by saying and finished in the present or doesn't finish )

3- Is simple present with performatives used with nouns or any pronouns ?

Hi HLH,

I'll try to help.

1. Only verbs that indicate some kind of performed speech act (e.g. suggest, declare, announce, thank, ask, apologise) can be used as performatives in the present simple.

2. The action happens together with the act of speaking. If I say e.g. I apologise, the action starts and finishes at the same time as the act of speaking. (Of course, the person's attitude may be to keep on feeling apologetic, but that attitude is separate from the act of speaking and apologising.)

3. I'm not sure I understand the question. Any nouns or pronouns can be used that are relevant to the verb and the situation.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by HLH on Thu, 25/01/2024 - 09:03

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Hello Peter
you have told me before
When something is a habit or a repeated action you can use adverbs of frequency about this example
I am working in London for a week
I always wake up at 8 AM
I usually eat my breakfast outside
My question
Is the meaning of repetition in the simple present could be permanent or could be temporary without use adverbs of frequency and The context of the speech indicates whether it is temporary or permanent ?
like same example
I am working in London for a week
I wake up at 8 AM
I eat my breakfast outside

Hello HLH,

Simple forms generally contain a sense of permanence whether with or without adverbs of frequency while continuous/progressive forms imply that something is temporary:

I am working in London. [I have removed the adverbial phrase] - this implies a temporary situation, not a permanent post

I wake up at 8 AM - this is my normal behaviour

I eat my breakfast outside - this is my normal behaviour

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by mathlove on Sun, 19/11/2023 - 03:10

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So, Can I use present continous to talk about future instead of present simple?

Hello mathlove,

Both present simple and continuous can be used to talk about the future, but they have different meanings.

Present simple is used to talk about things that are part of a normal routine or are part of a timetable:

The staff meeting takes place on Friday at 3.00.

The train leaves at 6.00.

Present continuous is used to describe single events which have been arranged/set up in advance:

We're meeting John and Sara on Thursday.

I'm starting my new job next week.

You can read more about these uses and other ways of talking about the future here:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/grammar/english-grammar-reference/talking-about-future

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
I have a question.
I did many tests on this website but I don´t know how I can write the hegative forms of do or did. Always when i wrote don`t or do not it was false. So I want to ask how I can write the negative forms.
Best Regards

Hello ClemensRath,

It looks like you are typing the wrong character for the apostrophe ('). I'm not sure what kind of keyboard you are using, but for example on my Spanish keyboard, I have to use the key that is next to the 0 (zero) key to type '. If you use the accent keys like ´ or `, these are not understood by our system.

Does that make sense to you? Please let us know if not, and if you have more questions please tell us what language your keyboard is.

Best wishes,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by zubairkhan on Wed, 15/11/2023 - 07:04

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🔗 The he, she and it forms for have, do and go are irregular.
above its mistakenly written 'have' instead of 'has'