Return to Verb Tenses

Present Simple

Forming the positive is relatively easy. All you need to do is add an ‘s‘ to the verb when the subject is ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it.’ To make the negative form, you need to use ‘do not‘ (don’t) or ‘does not‘ (doesn’t). And we use ‘do‘ or ‘does‘ before the subject to make the ‘yes / no’ question.
Take the verb ‘work,’ for instance:

Affirmative:Negative:Yes/No Question:
I workI do not (don’t) workDo I work?
You workYou do not (don’t) workDo you work?
He worksHe does not (doesn’t) workDoes he work?
She worksShe does not (doesn’t) workDoes she work?
It worksIt does not (doesn’t) workDoes it work?
We workWe do not (don’t) workDo we work?
You workYou do not (don’t) workDo you work?
They workThey do not (don’t) workDo they work?

After he, she, and it, verbs in the present tense end in -s/-es
I work he works
you play she plays
we finish it finishes

NOTE: When we add -s/-es to verbs there are sometimes changes in spelling.

play plays (vowel + y, just add -s)
enjoy enjoys (vowel + y, just add -s)

carry carries (consonant + y,  remove the y and add -ies)
study studies (consonant + y,  remove the y and add -ies)

wash washes (verbs that end in s, sh, ch or x, add -es)
teach → teaches (verbs that end in s, sh, ch or x, add -es)

When to use the Present Simple:

We use the present simple to talk about repeated actions or habits

  • I take a shower every morning. 
  • Most evenings my parents stay at home and watch TV. 
  • Do you go to the cinema very often? 
  • What time does Kate finish work?

We use the present simple to talk about situations that are permanent (continuing for a long time). 

  • Mr. and Mrs. Shaw live in NY. (That is their permanent home.) 
  • He teaches English. (That is his job.)

We also use the present simple to talk about general truths. 

  • The River Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish.

NOTE

  • What do you do? is a question about someone’s occupation.
    ‘What do you do?’
    ‘I’m a doctor.’ 
  • When who, what, or which is the subject of a present simple question, we do not use do/does.
    Who lives in that apartment?
  • We often use words such as usually, often, every day with the present simple to say how often things happen.
    I usually take a shower every day.
  • We also use the present simple to talk about the future.
    The train leaves at 7.30 tomorrow morning.

The Simple Present Tense

1 / 10

It _______  (not / be) cold today.

2 / 10

I _______  (not / play) the piano often.

3 / 10

Why _______  (he / be) in France?

4 / 10

Lucy _______ (ride) her bicycle to work.

5 / 10

_______  (they / be) on the bus?

6 / 10

_______  (you/find) the weather here cold?

7 / 10

_______  (she / be) a singer?

8 / 10

They _______  (go) to the cinema every Wednesday.

9 / 10

_______  (she / play) tennis every week?

10 / 10

_______ (be) in a café now.

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