The Present Simple Tense in English
The present simple, also known as simple present or present tense, is one of the most commonly used tenses in the English language.
It is used to talk about events that take place on a regular basis but also in some other cases.
I always drink coffee in the morning.
This sentence describes an action that takes place on a regular basis, i.e., always.
Rule 1: We can use the present simple tense to talk about actions that take place regularly or habitually using signal words like always, never, rarely, often, every.
She takes dancing classes every Saturday.
The present simple tense is used to describe an action that takes place on a regular basis, i.e., every Saturday.
Rule 2: We use the present simple tense to talk about actions that take place one after the other.
After the swimming pool she takes shower, dries her hair, changes her clothes and goes to get lunch.
The present simple is used to describe the set of actions she takes one after another after swimming.
Rule 3: We use the present simple tense to talk about facts or things that are generally valid.
Swimming helps you burn more calories than running.
This is a fact.
Rule 4: We use the present simple tense to talk about planned and predetermined actions in the future (e.g., timetable).
Her training starts at 7 am every Saturday.
The present simple tense is used to talk about predetermined action - training at 7 am.
Rule 5: We use the present simple tense with stative verbs (be, know, think, like, prefer, want, etc.) and verbs of memory or thought.
She likes to swim in the morning.
The present simple tense is used with the stative verb like.
Rule 6: To conjugate English verbs in present simple, we add an -s or -es to verbs in the third person singular (he/she/it), otherwise the verb does not change.
Note: We use the auxiliary verb do to construct negative sentences and questions. The main verb is used in the infinitive form. Modal verbs never take an -s.
Here's how to conjugate positive, negative and interrogative sentences in the present simple tense:
|I/you/we/they||I swim||You do not swim||Do they swim?|
|he/she/it||He swims||She does not swim||Does it swim?|
Rule 7: We can use contractions - short forms of pronouns and verbs combined with the word not - in informal and spoken English.
Here is an overview of the most common contractions used in the present simple tense:
|Long Form||Short Form||Example|
|am (not)||'m (not)||I'm not|
|are (not)||'re (not) / aren't||you're (not) / you aren't|
|is (not)||'s (not) / isn't||she's (not) / she isn't|
|do not||don't||they don't|
|does not||doesn't||he doesn't|
Complete the sentence. He ___ football every Sunday.