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Simple Present (Present Tense)

Present Tense or some call it “Simple Present” is used to describe:

1. Habitual or repeated actions. For example: I usually go to the office at 7 o’clock every morning.

2. General truth or things in general or facts. For example: The sun rises in the East.

3. Fixed arragements or scheduled events. This use is to describe future. (Present Tense/Simple Present is one of the future tenses – tenses which can be used to describe future actions/events). For example: The train leaves for Jakarta every Friday.

The forms: (+) Subject + Infinitive (we add -s/-es to the infinitive verb if the subject is he, she or it)

                  (-) Subject + do/does + not + Infinitive (do -> I, you, we, they  — does -> he, she, it)

                  (?) Do/does + Subject + Infinitive ?

do + not = don’t   — does + not = doesn’t

I + am = I’m — She + is = She’s — You + are = You’re

is + not = isn’t — are + not = aren’t — am + not = cannot be contracted (it stays the same)

To be in “Simple Present” : –> is, am, are

Note : we use “to be” in a sentence if the sentence doesn’t have a “verb“. For example : She is at home. There’s no “verb” in this sentence, that’s why we have to use “to be” instead.

Signals : Every ….. (every day, every week, every Monday, etc), often, always, sometimes, never.

Simple present, third person singular


  1. he, she, it: in the third person singular the verb always ends in -s:
    he wants, she needs, he gives, she thinks.

  2. Negative and question forms use DOES (=the third person of the auxiliary’DO’) + the infinitive of the verb.
    He wants. Does he want? He does not want.

  3. Verbs ending in -y : the third person changes the -y to -ies:
    fly flies, cry cries

    : if there is a vowel before the –y:
    play plays, pray prays

  4. Add -es to verbs ending in:-ss, -x, -sh, -ch:
    he passes, she catches, he fixes, it pushes

See also Verbs -‘Regular verbs in the simple present’, and ‘Be, do & have’


1. Third person singular with s or -es

a. He goes to school every morning.
b. She understands English.
c. It mixes the sand and the water.
d. He tries very hard.
e. She enjoys playing the piano.

2. Simple present, form

Example: to think, present simple

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I think Do I think ? I do not think.
You think Do you think? You don’t think.
he, she, it thinks Does he, she, it think? He, she, it doesn’t think.
we think Do we think? We don’t think.
you think Do you think? You don’t think.

The simple present is used:

  1. to express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes:
    I smoke (habit); I work in London (unchanging situation); London is a large city (general truth)

  2. to give instructions or directions:
    You walk for two hundred metres, then you turn left.

  3. to express fixed arrangements, present or future:
    Your exam starts at 09.00

  4. to express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until:
    He’ll give it to you when you come next Saturday.

BE CAREFUL! The simple present is not used to express actions happening now. See Present Continuous.


  1. For habits
    He drinks tea at breakfast.
    She only eats fish.
    They watch television regularly.
  2. For repeated actions or events
    We catch the bus every morning.
    It rains every afternoon in the hot season.
    They drive to Monaco every summer.
  3. For general truths
    Water freezes at zero degrees.
    The Earth revolves around the Sun.
    Her mother is Peruvian.
  4. For instructions or directions
    Open the packet and pour the contents into hot water.
    You take the No.6 bus to Watney and then the No.10 to Bedford.
  5. For fixed arrangements
    His mother arrives tomorrow.
    Our holiday starts on the 26th March
  6. With future constructions
    She’ll see you before she leaves.
    We’ll give it to her when she arrives


1. Form – see Simple Present section.
2. Simple present for future events – function

The simple present is used to make statements about events at a time later than now, when the statements are based on present facts, and when these facts are something fixed like a time-table, schedule, calendar.


a. The plane arrives at 18.00 tomorrow.
b. She has a yoga class tomorrow morning.
c. The restaurant opens at 19.30 tonight.
d. Next Thursday at 14.00 there is an English exam.

Note the difference between:

a. The plane leaves in ten minutes (= statement of fact)
b. The plane’s going to leave in ten minutes (= prediction based on present situation, meaning “…and if you don’t hurry up you’re going to miss it!”)

Source : and English4Today


May 23, 2008 - Posted by | Learn English - Tenses


  1. ano po ba ang simple present tense at verb

    Comment by ally | July 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. Well, Ally, I don’t understand your language. Would you please use English, so that maybe I can be of help?

    Comment by Joe Leonhart | July 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hello Mr/Ms,
    I am Bunhoeun, Cambodian. I don’t speak good English. Now I try to study English by this website, I hope this website will allow me to study.

    Comment by Bunhoeun | July 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. Of Course!!

    The Motto of this blog is “To Learn and To Share”
    So, be pleasure to explore this blog and I hope it can be useful for you to improve your English.

    If you have difficulty or problems about English, just write in this blog, OK?
    I’ll try my best to help even though I’m not an expert in English.

    Comment by Joe Leonhart | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. ally says…

    What is simple present tense at verb.

    Thanks for this! 🙂

    Comment by Jaja | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. why we use third form in present simple tense?
    for example:
    you are WORRIED about her.
    she DOESNOT go there.
    I am failed to understand this rule.I want to know the exact reason of this rule.
    please help me!

    Comment by san | February 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Well, third form of the verb (called Past Participle) is usually used in perfect tenses (Present Perfect, Past perfect, etc). But sometimes, it’s also used as adjective, just like the example in your sentence (You are worried about her). Worried in your sentence is adjective, to express “you” (the subject in your sentence). As we know, adjective is used to express/explain NOUN. And the subject is NOUN in this case.

      Hope this helps..

      Comment by Joe Leonhart | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  7. what is the function of the simple present tense?

    Comment by keith | June 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.

      Comment by Joe Leonhart | July 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.
      Good Luck!!!

      Comment by Joe Leonhart | July 17, 2009 | Reply

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